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CentaurZ

Brightest Asteroid Vesta Opposes Sun June 19 at Mag +5.3

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Posted (edited)

The brightest asteroid 4 Vesta is the only one occasionally visible by naked eye. It will appear in opposition to the Sun on 2018 JUN 19 in northwestern Sagittarius west of Saturn. At magnitude +5.3 it will be shining nearly as brightly as it ever gets, since it will be near its perihelion while Earth will be near its aphelion.

Vesta currently rises in the evening at magnitude +6.0, which is at the edge of naked eye visibility for sharp eyed observers under clear dark skies.

Photos and descriptions of Vesta would be welcome additions to this thread.

 

Vesta.JPG

Edited by CentaurZ
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Thanks for that, well worth trying for, cloud permitting of course!

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Posted (edited)

Decimal coordinates are posted to ease interpolation, since few observations are likely to be made at precisely 00:00:00 UT. Highly accurate Solex osculating elements have been utilized. 

713710814_4Vesta-E.thumb.JPG.bd2922201b904eddf09bf713356d335e.JPG

Edited by CentaurZ

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Thank you for this comprehensive info. Vesta is quite close to Messier 23 these days, they must be a great sight in the same FoV of a binocular. It's a crowded field down there in the Milky Way so I guess it's quite a challenge to identify the asteroid between all the background stars.

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I had a look last night at Vesta and made a rough binocular sketch. It's in a lovely wide field with the gems of Sagittarius all around and Saturn to the SE around 8 deg. off.  Vesta stands out quite well, as it's a bit brighter than the close grouping of nearby stars.

andrew

vesta.JPG

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I imaged Vesta passing M23 last night. Vesta was easy to see in binoculars but the low altitude and LP meant I couldn't see the cluster. In fact I could only use 30 second exposures or they whited out. Subs look good so pics to follow.

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Observation...

Vesta is about 40 arc-seconds south east of where Stellarium says it should be (my location data in Stellarium is correct).

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Just picked Vesta up in the bins and then the dob. I can just about get M23 into the FOV with a 20mm APM HDC but it’s not close anymore. Great to see Vesta though. First sighting of this asteroid for me. 

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