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Astro Bob

How To See Pallas, Spring’s Brightest Asteroid

31 Mar 2019, 17:10 UTC
How To See Pallas, Spring’s Brightest Asteroid
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Up early tomorrow? Find a spot with a wide open view to the southeast and look for Venus and the crescent moon in twilight. Stellarium
The sky has been deceptively quiet of late, but things are brewing. Tomorrow morning a thin crescent moon parks just shy of a fist to the right of the planet Venus. The best time to see the pair will be around 40 minutes before sunup low in the southeastern sky.
During the evening hours you can watch the bright asteroid Pallas ply the heavens with nothing more than a small telescope or pair of 50mm binoculars. 2 Pallas, the second asteroid discovered after Ceres, was found by German astronomer Heinrich Olbers on March 28, 1802. As far as asteroids go, it’s big — at 318 miles (512 km) across, Pallas ranks as third largest. It orbits in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter and makes one orbit of the sun every 4.6 years.
The European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope took this photo of Pallas, revealing what appears to be a cratered surface and an intriguing bright spot reminiscent of the bright spot on Ceres. Pallas is a dark asteroid related to carbonaceous ...

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