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      Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

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          Abstract

          On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Rotational fission of contact binary asteroids

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            Size-frequency statistics of boulders on global surface of asteroid 25143 Itokawa

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
                Proc. IAU
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                1743-9213
                1743-9221
                August 2015
                March 01 2016
                August 2015
                : 10
                : S318
                : 144-152
                Article
                10.1017/S1743921315008674
                © 2015

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