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As Vesta is currently at approximately magnitude +7.6 and going through Gemini for most of April I intend to try to track it (weather permitting) over this time if possible. As this will be my first ever asteroid hunt and potentially first one ever seen, are there any tips apart from sketching its position against the stars to be able to do this? Below is the fov in my Opticstar AS90S with my 18mm Celestron X-Cel LX  EP that I intend to use for this if possible. 

 

 

Edited by Knighty2112
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Been tracking and imaging it on and off since mid December, there's a thread somewhere with folks images.

Dave

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4 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

A few posts here, it can be tricky to find as it looks just like a star and doesn't move very quickly.

Dave

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/286007-asteroid-4-vesta/?page=2

 

Thanks. Got a Goto mount, so along with Skysafari I hope to be able to at least be able to tell if it's in the fov OK, and plan to sketch its position over consecutive nights to fully nail it down. Fingers crossed for some clear skies! :) 

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Good luck Gus, I found it hard to distinguish from the surrounding starfield at times even with a chart.

Here's a pic' from 3rd February to give you an idea :icon_biggrin:

Dave

Vesta-03-02-17.png.94b934b486e89bc84c42556a519b6bbe.png

 

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On 29/03/2017 at 12:26, Davey-T said:

Good luck Gus, I found it hard to distinguish from the surrounding starfield at times even with a chart.

Here's a pic' from 3rd February to give you an idea :icon_biggrin:

Dave

Vesta-03-02-17.png.94b934b486e89bc84c42556a519b6bbe.png

 

Hoping that visually at least Skysafari should guide me to it OK. Here's the image from Skysafari below which matches your photo very well when zoomed in a little. :) 

 

 

Edited by Knighty2112
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I find the telescope view being upside down and / or back to front really confusing when trying to distinguish one star from another especially when the stated magnitudes don't appear very accurate as represented by various apps :grin:

Dave

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9 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

I find the telescope view being upside down and / or back to front really confusing when trying to distinguish one star from another especially when the stated magnitudes don't appear very accurate as represented by various apps :grin:

Dave

Good thing with Skysafari is you can flip the image to match what you see through the EP, so for a frac this is flipping west to east and vice versa. I also have a good erect image 90 degree diagonal if I have problems! :) 

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9 minutes ago, Guy Wells said:

(2017 03 29) 07 36 13.8 +26 08 55     Mag +7.6

Cheers! :) 

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44 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Good luck Gus, I found it hard to distinguish from the surrounding starfield at times even with a chart.

Here's a pic' from 3rd February to give you an idea :icon_biggrin:

Dave

Vesta-03-02-17.png.94b934b486e89bc84c42556a519b6bbe.png

 

Surely the arrow near it helps Dave?

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I'd be inclined to give your binos an outing to begin :)  The neat equilateral triangle of stars Pollux, 76 Gem and 69 Gem (mu Gem) is a good starter and Vesta is trundling along just below its base. (edit, Pollux being the apex)  There are no other brightish stars near to confuse it * [ that is a problem with 'scopes/ deep exposures = too many stars ! ]

Once located in your binos then get up and personal with your scope :)

The other way of observing it is by doing nightly exposures with a cam on a tripod and then observing by the fireside :D There is an example of mine lurking in the Beginners Imaging , but modesty etc ;);)

* but beware of kappa and iota Gem, not far away but very much brighter, forming a false alt triangle

Edited by SilverAstro
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41 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

I'd be inclined to give your binos an outing to begin :)  The neat equilateral triangle of stars Pollux, 76 Gem and 69 Gem (mu Gem) is a good starter and Vesta is trundling along just below its base. (edit, Pollux being the apex)  There are no other brightish stars near to confuse it * [ that is a problem with 'scopes/ deep exposures = too many stars ! ]

Once located in your binos then get up and personal with your scope :)

The other way of observing it is by doing nightly exposures with a cam on a tripod and then observing by the fireside :D There is an example of mine lurking in the Beginners Imaging , but modesty etc ;);)

* but beware of kappa and iota Gem, not far away but very much brighter, forming a false alt triangle

Thanks. Don't have a cam as yet to image the views (plan to get a ZWO later on this year), but I'll try it with binoculars too. Got an Orion mount so that will make it easy to focus on Vesta properly. I'll try it with my scope also too to see if I can pick it out OK with that also. Between the binos and the scope, and with patience and clear skies I should be able to track it OK. :) 

Edited by Knighty2112

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8 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

Thanks. Don't have a cam as yet to image the views (plan to get a ZWO later on this year),

Nothing sophisticated here, a consumercam, point&shoot, if it has a 'night scene' or otherwise can shoot tens of seconds exp you may be in with a chance,  modesty   I couldnt find it then ! got it now :-

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/286191-pointshoot-vesta/?do=findComment&comment=3135241

your 15x70 should be good to frame the region I think.

all good fun, good luck, may the clouds not be with you :)

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1 hour ago, Moonshane said:

Surely the arrow near it helps Dave?

It certainly does Shane ,  we needed that arrow on 41p at the weekend  :grin:

Dave

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40 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

Nothing sophisticated here, a consumercam, point&shoot, if it has a 'night scene' or otherwise can shoot tens of seconds exp you may be in with a chance,  modesty   I couldnt find it then ! got it now :-

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/286191-pointshoot-vesta/?do=findComment&comment=3135241

your 15x70 should be good to frame the region I think.

all good fun, good luck, may the clouds not be with you :)

I've got a bridge camera, so may try to sit that on top of the scope and get an image of the area that way. :) 

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17 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

I've got a bridge camera, so may try to sit that on top of the scope and get an image of the area that way. :) 

Excellent !

or even images plural ! and stack ? does it do raw ? would be even better :)   Mine in that link was on a tripod, the little bit of trailing is no bother when trying to identify Vesta, it is 10y old so the noise is prob. a lot more than on yours.

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4 hours ago, SilverAstro said:

Excellent !

or even images plural ! and stack ? does it do raw ? would be even better :)   Mine in that link was on a tripod, the little bit of trailing is no bother when trying to identify Vesta, it is 10y old so the noise is prob. a lot more than on yours.

  Not sure. I think it can, but need to check. 

Edited by Knighty2112

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Tried getting out last night to hunt for Vesta as there was a sudden break in the clouds at 21:30, so rushed in to get my Orion binicular tripod set up outside, then went in to get my 15x70 binos to have a looksie with, but alas before I even got back outside and screwed them onto the mount clouds where scudding in once again to block the sky. Hoping the weather over the next few days prove better for me! Fingers tightly crossed! :) 

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On 29/03/2017 at 15:28, SilverAstro said:

Excellent !

or even images plural ! and stack ? does it do raw ? would be even better :)   Mine in that link was on a tripod, the little bit of trailing is no bother when trying to identify Vesta, it is 10y old so the noise is prob. a lot more than on yours.

Sadly, no raw on the Canon bridge camera. However I can go down to ISO1500 on the camera, and set a maximum 15 second exposure time, so hoping that if I take a few images and stack them I may catch it. Also have a 40x optical zoom, with the option to double that to 80x with the digital zoom. Hopefully get a chance to try it out tonight at some point. Got it set on the scope already with my trigger grip. 

IMG_2340.thumb.JPG.5b8ef94086d28b799bb7d7c07b6b82d9.JPG

IMG_2341.thumb.JPG.f319349a9e630a60aa16748de7cf5163.JPG

 

Edited by Knighty2112

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As a test tonight earlier on I captured the moon between the clouds using 1 second exposure, and ISO400 I think (could have been 800). Tweaked a little in my photo editing software by Serif. The zoom was at 40x optical. Think I have a dead pixel in the camera which is in the same place always, so should be relatively easy to eliminate from actual stars/Vesta. I can get a maximum exposure time of 15 seconds, so hoping with the stacking software this will build up a better view when I manage to get some shots of the sky where Vesta should be. Now I just need some clear skies to start the hunt! :) 

58dd6e2bbb2ef_Moon30_03_17.thumb.png.0bb66c96a395618724f02a524bdeccd6.png

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After a promising forcast of clear skies, clouds stayed stubbornly outside until around 11pm when there was eventually enough gaps in the clouds for me to set up and align my 6/8SE Goto mount. After first doing the alignment, and checking after this with a few objects first that it was OK, I then homed in on Vesta. After adjusting Skysafari to match what I was seeing in the eyepiece for magnitudes, and after orientating the view correctly it was surprising easy to nail down Vesta, which was the brightest object in the fov of the eyepiece. Didn't get a chance to try to get any photos of it, but as it was so obvious in the EP fov, and it matched up perfectly with where Skysafari said it was I just took a screenshot of Skysafari in the image below. 

The view was with my Celestron 4SE Mak, using my Celestron 18mm X-Cel LX EP. It was easy to locate Vesta with the four U shaped star asterism to the lower right of Vesta, the upper right of which is a double, and the remaining stars around Vesta were correctly positioned too, with Vesta easily been the brightest object  in the fov. All in all very happy to spot my first asteroid. Hoping for another clear night tomorrow so I can see the movement it has made too. :) 

 

Edited by Knighty2112
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Congratulations on your first asteroid Gus, hope you get a chance to image it, I was going to have a go at it tonight but spent 2 hours fighting with the imaging rig then it clouded over.

Dave

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1 minute ago, Davey-T said:

Congratulations on your first asteroid Gus, hope you get a chance to image it, I was going to have a go at it tonight but spent 2 hours fighting with the imaging rig then it clouded over.

Dave

Thanks. I'm over the moon! :)

I'll try to image it tomorrow night if the weather stays clear. Was touch and go whether I was going to stay up and try for it, or go to bed and try tomorrow night. Glad I went for the former option! :) 

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