Object name: TOUTATIS

Designation(s): TOUTATIS,

Last night (December 12, 2012 UT or 12-12-12 which my neighbor thinks is a bad omen) the asteroid (4179) Toutatis passed by us at a bit over 4.25 million miles from us when the clouds opened (first time in over a month) for 2 15 minute openings then shut me down again. I had to work fast so the results aren't what I wanted.

For about 13 minutes I had a clear window to grab 20 30 second frames while the Paramount tracked Toutatis using its orbital elements. Then the clouds shut me down for a bit. When they opened again I got 20 more 20 second frames, this time tracking at sidereal rate plus 3 30 second frames in each color. I wanted more but the next red frame was clouded out with the clouds never opening again. I used the first frames to make a mono image with trailing stars showing its motion over 13 minutes (the extra 3 minutes is due to the slow download speed of the camera). I then made an LRGB image using the later data taken tracking stars rather than the asteroid. Then I used the trailed asteroid color frames to determine the RGB values to the asteroid. Rather than 6 colored dashes for the asteroid, I took the round asteroid L frame and colored it with the RGB data and inserted it where it was in the 10th frame tracking at sidereal rate.

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