16 February 2010

Vesta at its brightest today

Asteroid Vesta is the second most massive asteroid in the asteroid belt. It was discovered by the German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers on March 29, 1807 and named after the Roman virgin goddess of home and hearth, Vesta.
Vesta's size and bright surface make it the brightest asteroid, and it is some times even visible to the naked eye from dark (non-light polluted) skies.
In 2007 May-June, Vesta was visible to the naked eye with a magnitude of 5.4
Today is the best day to see asteroid Vesta.
Today Asteroid Vesta will be at opposition as seen from earth (Vesta will be very close to earth).
Therefore it will be brighter than usual. It will be shining at a magnitude of 6.1
So, it will be easily visible with a binocular or a small telescope.
Moreover, the asteroid Vesta is located in a favorable position. It is located very near to Gamma-Leonis.
The finder chart generated using Stellarium looks like this.

Asteroid Vesta will be bright throughout this week and will be easy to find.
Please utilize this great opportunity and tell us what you saw.

1 comment: