Saturday, December 31, 2005

4 Vesta in Gemini: 30-Dec-2005


Position of 4 Vesta on 30 December 2005

I thought I would ‘officially’ add one of the easier asteroids to my short list. Tonight at 8:45p, from my NE (Manhattan north) facing window, I spotted the asteroid with Fujinon 10x70's.

Vesta is currently situated around the ‘waist’ of the eastern twin in the constellation Gemini.

The two images below were generated with ‘Planetarium for the Palm’ (PftP).

The first image is a wide view with a limiting magnitude of 6.0. The asteroid is the rock symbol. The telrad circles on both images are 5.3° & 7.4°.

The second image is a detailed view with a limiting magnitude of 7.5. The brightest star below and to the left of Vesta is δ Geminorum (Wasat).

δ Gem and the 4 bright 5th - 6th mag. stars below it form a ‘kite’ shape. Vesta can be seen as the tail of the kite.

The stars surrounding Vesta form another smaller / dimmer kite. If the δ Gem kite is pointing downwards then the three 7th mag. stars along with Vesta form a kite that points to the left.

Vesta appears, to my eyes, as bright as the star to the right of the Vesta kite. This star is the 6.4 magnitude high proper motion star HIP 34608 or LTT (Lyten Two Tenth's) 11989.

Screen Shots from Planetarium for the Palm

PftP_Vesta_20051230_Wide.jpg PftP_Vesta_20051230_CloseUp.jpg