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The Naked-eye Planets: Asteroids

Vesta: The Only Naked-eye Asteroid (2011 article)

Vesta & Ceres in 2014

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Finder chart for asteroid 4 Vesta during its period of naked-eye visibility in Sagittarius and Ophiuchus between May and early August 2018 (Copyright Martin J Powell 2018)

Finder Chart showing the position of asteroid 4 Vesta at 5-day intervals from May through to early August 2018, the period during which the asteroid was technically visible to the naked-eye (i.e. brighter than apparent magnitude +6.5). Saturn was also in the vicinity and its path is shown over the same period (marked on the 1st day of each month). A Southern hemisphere view of the chart can be found here and a printer-friendly (greyscale) version can be obtained for Northern and Southern hemisphere views.

Vesta moved through North-western Sagittarius and South-eastern Ophiuchus during this period, positioned North and West of the star Polis (Greek lower-case letter 'mu'1 Sgr or Mu-1 Sagittarii, mag. +3.8v) and North-east of the star Greek lower-case letter 'theta' Oph (Theta Ophiuchi, mag. +3.2).

Vesta reached opposition to the Sun (its closest point to the Earth, when it shone at its brightest for the year) on June 19th 2018, when it was 1.141 Astronomical Units (170.7 million kms or 106 million miles) from the Earth. Vesta then shone at magnitude +5.3, the brightest it had been since June of 1989.

Click here to see a 'clean' star map of the area (i.e. without paths); a printable version can be found here.

The faintest stars shown on the chart have a magnitude of about +7.3. Astronomical co-ordinates of Right Ascension (longitude, measured Eastwards in hrs:mins) and Declination (latitude, measured in degrees North or South of the celestial equator) are marked around the border of the chart.

 

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The Naked-eye Planets: Asteroids

Appearance of the Naked-Eye Planets

Planetary Movements through the Zodiac

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Credits


Copyright  Martin J Powell  February 2018


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