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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Astronomy: Vesta Approaches Jupiter

As I mentioned recently, this week offers an excellent opportunity to view an asteroid, should that interest you and you haven't yet done so. The brightest (though not the largest) of the asteroids, 4 Vesta is within a binocular field of view with Jupiter, currently the brightest object in the evening sky (look to the southwest), and, at magnitude 7.2, a relatively easy binocular object.

I've been trying to photograph the conjunction between Jupiter and Vesta in order to assemble an animation of the event. Atmospheric conditions were hideous tonight (though I can't say they couldn't have been worse—last night I was completely clouded out): a milky haze pervaded the southern sky, which was illuminated into a pseudo-twilight by the full Moon. This is the best picture I was able to capture tonight; it shows Vesta, although barely against the bright sky. Here is a synthetic image from Your Sky

Posted at August 28, 2007 00:37