This computer generated image depicts a view of Earth as seen from the surface of the asteroid Toutatis on Nov 29th 1996. A 2.5 degree field-of-view synthetic computer camera was used for this simulation. Toutatis is visible on this date as a twelfth magnitude object in the night sky in the constellation of Virgo and could be viewed with a medium sized telescope. Toutatis currently approaches Earth once every four years and, on Nov. 29th, 1996 will be 5.2 million kilometers away (approx. 3.3 million miles).
In approximately 8 years, on Sept. 29th, 2004, it will be less than 1.6 million kilometers from Earth. This is only 4 times the distance to the moon, and is the closest approach predicted for any known asteroid or comet during the next 60 years.