APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Astronymus
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Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by Astronymus » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:18 pm

Buzatti wrote:Sorry, my friends, but I see the form of a white cross, even with the shadows inside the larger crater on the right??
Yeah, means: Jesus was here. :roll:

Czerno1

Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by Czerno1 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:12 am

Hi everybody !

I can't decide with certitude where the origin of the illumination is in this picture, will someone please help me to interpret what I can see here? (I mean, the still photograph - my system won't show movies).

dushyant01

Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by dushyant01 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:56 am

StormForces wrote:Is the appearance of heavier cratering toward the north not just the lighting (angle the sunlight was hitting it)? (you get the same effect when taking photos of the moon) Guess i'll have to check out more of the Vesta pics...
exactly my thoughts.. opened this page to write and found your post :)
in the movie, I could not see any more cratering on any side. Regarding the alternate explanations of solar system passing through some objects, its not very likely that it was local to Vesta. So, that would affect all the asteroids and even Mars, Earth and Moon.

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Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by bystander » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:43 pm

How to Spot Giant Asteroid Vesta in Night Sky This Week
Space.com | Geoff Gaherty, Starry Night Education | 2011 Aug 03
With all the publicity on NASA's final space shuttle flight a few weeks ago, some people may have missed another cosmic milestone: On July 16, NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta to spend the next year orbiting the space rock before heading off to an encounter with the dwarf planet Ceres.

Vesta is unusually bright among the asteroids because of its different mineral makeup. It is actually brighter than Pallas, the largest asteroid, and Ceres, the dwarf planet formerly classified as an asteroid. At 318 miles (512 kilometers) in diameter, Vesta is slightly smaller than Pallas, which is 326 miles (524 km). Both space rocks are much smaller than Ceres at 595 miles (957 km).

Did you know that you can see Vesta with your unaided eyes?

This week Vesta will be in opposition, its closest point toward Earth, and in an area of the sky with few stars, making it relatively easy to see. The sky map of Vesta available here shows where to look to spot the asteroid this week.

Strangely enough, being in an area bereft of stars can make this asteroid easier to see, because there are no bright stars nearby to confuse the viewer. However, it takes an experienced observer to spot the constellation in which it is located, Capricornus. [Close-Up Photos of Vesta]

How to spot Vesta

To see Vesta, you will need sharp eyes and a dark country sky.

Most people will find a good pair of small binoculars a useful aid in locating the asteroid. Assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, look towards the southern horizon around 1 a.m. local time. Bright Sagittarius will be off to your right, and due south will be the upside-down triangle of Capricornus.

As a whole, Capricornus is a constellation with few bright stars, but the stars that are visible form a very clearly marked triangle, with its brightest stars in its upper left and right corners.

The chart labels the stars with their magnitudes, their brightness measured on the upside-down scale which astronomers use, where the brightest stars are "1" and the faintest stars visible to the naked eye are "6."

Dark skies needed

Vesta is at the faint end of that scale at magnitude 5.6, but for the next week it will be located in a part of Capricornus which contains no stars anywhere near that bright, so Vesta will stand out against that dark area.

The skywatching chart mentioned earlier shows Vesta in its position at opposition on Friday, Aug. 5. It is moving from left to right in a line parallel to the lower right side of the Capricornus triangle.

Vesta moves about half the moon's diameter every 24 hours, so its movement will be obvious from one night to the next. In a telescope at high magnification, you can see it move over a few minutes watching.
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Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:18 pm

Image
Sir William Herschel announced the discovery Uranus on March 13, 1781.
(max mag. ~5.32, max retrograde motion ~2.6' per day)

Vesta was discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers on March 29, 1807.
(max mag. ~5.1, max retrograde motion ~16.5' per day)

Why wasn't Vesta (or even Uranus) discovered earlier?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensa_%28constellation%29 wrote:
<<Mensa was created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (March 15, 1713 – March 21, 1762) under the name Mons Mensae, the Latin name for Table Mountain in South Africa, where Lacaille made important early observations of the southern sky. Mensa contains no bright stars, with Alpha Mensae its brightest star at a barely visible magnitude 5.09, making it the faintest constellation in the entire sky. Alpha Mensae is a solar-type star (class G5 V) 33 light-years from Earth, and is considered a good prospect for harboring an Earth-like planet.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by NoelC » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:48 pm

neufer wrote:Why wasn't Vesta (or even Uranus) discovered earlier?
How many people were looking at the sky with telescopes in the late 1700s? Not that many, I'll wager.

One can imagine that as society and civilization progressed it has become easier and easier to have more free time to do things that don't directly address survival, such as staying up late and pondering the heavens.

Image

-Noel

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Re: APOD: Asteroid Vesta Full Frame (2011 Aug 02)

Post by neufer » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:19 am

NoelC wrote:
neufer wrote:
Why wasn't Vesta (or even Uranus) discovered earlier?
How many people were looking at the sky with telescopes in the late 1700s? Not that many, I'll wager.
1) Vesta & Uranus at their brightest don't need telescopes...just exceptionally
good eyesight (which was an evolutionary advantage before glasses were common).
So it didn't have to be as late as the 1700s (or even this millenium).

2) Many astrologers made their living by watching the skies;
sometimes even their lives depended on it.
NoelC wrote:
One can imagine that as society and civilization progressed it has become easier and easier to have more free time to do things that don't directly address survival, such as staying up late and pondering the heavens.
Staying up late thanks to artificial lighting which has made a good observation of the heavens more & more rare.
Art Neuendorffer