Posts about solar system

Revealing Asteroid (4)Vesta

Have you ever been sitting at your computer playing with the planetarium program where you can load the current orbits of thousands of asteroid by a mouse click? And yes, they all line up nicely on the screen then, in denser swarms around the ecliptic - as one would expect since many are fragments within our planetary disc around the sun. But when looking at the sky at night - are they really out there? Or are they just propaganda to drive space agencies observation programs? Let's check that ourselves with an object that should be nominally easy to find: the asteroid (4) Vesta is one of the larger pieces and therefore brighter and easy to detect even with a binocular. Since I had time and gas nebula could not be easily imaged in the early morning hours from my location in February, I used the opportunity and pointed my telescope at Vesta which should be wandering through the constellation Lion this morning (according to a button press result in my sky charts program). The observations were all done by the camera and the mount automatically and assembling the frames reveals the "trojan star":

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Image Data: Telescope Scopos 80, f=560mm, f/7, Camera Canon EOS60Da, 2021-02-14_02h21-4h50UTC

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