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Asteroid Vesta passes Open Cluster M23


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Hopefully this competition allows minor planets as well as the big 8,9 or whatever...

The Asteroid 4 Vesta is bright enough to be seen with the naked eye in dark skies and is rapidly approaching opposition. I had to use binoculars as it is low down and the skies there are so bright I could only use 30 second subs. As a special treat, last night it was passing very close to the open cluster M23 in Sagittarius, the first Messier Object I have imaged that low down. Due to trees in the line of fire and a Microsoft Update that self-started I was only able to get 17 subs using my 130P-DS and cooled 450D. Much longer would have blurred Vesta anyway. The cluster is obvious, but Vesta is by far and away the brightest object in the image.

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