Before I provide the goods, it is worth knowing that asteroid Toutatis will only come within 4.3 million miles of Earth on this pass. The images at left are computer-generated views of Toutatis, constructed using radar observations from NASA's Goldstone Observatory.
Toutatis is about 3 miles wide and makes one trip around the sun every four years. Toutatis is a potentially hazardous asteroid, meaning that it could pose a threat to our planet at some point in the far future. The current flyby is no cause for concern, however, and I suppose that if you are reading this you know this to be true! You made it through the night! At its closest approach, which was at approximately 11:40 PM MST Tuesday night, Toutatis was about 18 times farther away from Earth than the moon is.
Using my TEC 140 APO, along with my Canon T2i and the software program BackyardEos, I ended up with 49 usable exposures of the asteroid (don't ask about the others...even the dog managed to mess a few up!). Each exposure was for 30 seconds and I have stitched them into the looping GIF below at 10 frames per second using Photoshop CS6. I did no processing of the images, other than to reduce the size of each exposure so that the GIF was not a bazillion megabytes. As it ended up the animation is a 12.8 MB GIF, so do allow it time to load. The animation runs from approximately 8:59 to 9:48 PM local time, or 0359 - 0448 UT 12/12/12. (Or, as folks in the UK would note the date, 12/12/12.) Finally, you may notice that the background sky is brighter in the later frames...this is due to the asteroid appearing to move in the direction of the Tucson light dome. Without further ado...the GIF!
Click to enlarge (and remember to give it time to load!)