posted on May, 13 2004 @ 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Demonic Aura
"The orbit of Toutatis is pinned down with better precision than any other large asteroid known to cross Earth's orbit. Toutatis' 4-year trek
around the sun ranges from just inside the Earth's path out to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
...NASA scientists have calculated. No other asteroid so large is known to have come so close in the past, though accurate tracking of space
rocks is a fairly recent, high-tech skill that still leaves wide margins of error for many objects. "
Talk about self-contradiction.
There is a lot of discussion out there about whether or not the orbit is actually mapped correctly.
By swinging out to near the asteroid belt,
all bets are off on whether the orbit can even be known before it gets away from the asteroid belt,
as minor perturbation there can 'adjust' its trajectory to more 'convenient' directions.
The ones doing the calculations are also known to ignore, from time to time,
such minor issues as lunar impacts, cross-coupled asteroid interactions, as well as simply
discovering at later dates that the orbit is altered by stray bodies they didn't even know about to begin with.
Trusting governmental oracles to know what happens next in our solar neighborhood
ranks right up there with buying magick-power amulets out of the
back-page adverts in your favorite tabloid.
[Edited on 2004-5-13 by Teknik]