Two Asteroids Approach In The Night / See Saturn’s Elusive Moon Iapetus

This coming week there will be something for everyone in the night sky whatever instrument you choose: telescope, binoculars or naked eyeballs. The biggest asteroid, Ceres, and brightest, Vesta, have been on converging paths since early spring. Right now they’re about a moon diameter (1/2 degree) apart and closing with each passing night. Saturday night…
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Drum Roll Please … Curiosity Takes First-ever Pix Of Asteroids From Mars!

Dang! NASA’s Curiosity rover beat me to it by just one day, spotting the asteroids Ceres and Vesta from the surface of Mars on Sunday April 20. Me? I caught them later that night from a comfortable location on Earth with a pair of 8×40 binoculars. The rover aimed its high-resolution mast camera skyward to…
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If You Can Find Mars, You Can Spot Ceres And Vesta Too – Try It!

Who hasn’t been dazzled by the Red Planet these April nights? Come 10 o’clock, Mars shines brilliantly in the south accompanied by the the blue-white star Spica. But did you know that just a short distance away, asteroids Ceres and Vesta are making their rounds in the night sky too? Ordinary binoculars will easily show…
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Load Up The Car, We’re Going To Vesta

Before voice navigation and cellphones we all kept our car glovebox stuffed with maps of favorite states traveled. Some of us still do. When you needed directions to a city, you unfolded the map or atlas on your lap and followed the vein-like red and blue lines to the your destination. Now there’s an out-of-this-world…
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A Comet Tale Plus Pummeling Asteroids Leave Carbon Stains On Vesta

Last night I attached my camera to a battery-operated mount designed to track the stars. What a comedy. Polar alignment kept slipping, the camera-lens weight was too much for the mount and focusing the telephoto lens proved tedious. All I wanted was a single picture of comet C/2012 K5. In the end, I got a…
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