4 Vesta Asteroid

Asteroid 4 Vesta | So large and bright that it can be seen with the naked eye

4 Vesta

The asteroid known as 4 Vesta is so large and bright that it can be noticed despite being 170 million miles away. According to Mail Online, it can be seen both in the northern hemisphere, but also in the southern hemisphere, near Mars, Saturn, and the Sagittarius constellation.

The second-largest object in the  belt, dubbed Asteroid 4 Vesta, will feature in the night sky from now until about July 16 to 17. Stargazers are in luck because Vesta is visible at night to the naked eye but decent binoculars or a telescope are preferable for viewing. Vesta will shine at night like a dim yellow dot at a magnitude of around 5.5.

Over the next few days, Vesta will decline towards the southeast at a declination of -20° 18’ 02”. The trajectory will see Vesta move towards the lower end of the constellation Ophiuchus by June 29. Asteroid Vesta is estimated to hold about nine per cent of all the mass contained in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. From now until about June 29, the asteroid will appear to move through the constellation Sagittarius.

4 Vesta
Look for Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in close proximity in early June, a rare meteor shower in mid June, and near earth asteroids throughout the month.

One of the largest asteroids in our solar system has come close to Earth and it can be noticed without special tools. The asteroid known as 4 Vesta is so large and bright that it can be noticed despite being 170 million miles away. According to Mail Online, it can be seen both in the northern hemisphere, but also in the southern hemisphere, near Mars, Saturn, and the Sagittarius constellation. But at the moment there are no worries, NASA says, the asteroid will not come closer to Earth, nor will it hit our planet. The asteroid measuring more than 800,000 square kilometres is 50 times as large as the asteroid that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. The space object will be visible on July 16th, 2018

From Earth, the immense asteroid – which measures four times the size of the UK – will appear in the night sky as a dim yellow dot. The asteroid is easy to spot compared to other space rocks in the same belt as its surface reflects more light than the moon. To stargazers in the northern hemisphere, Vesta will appear beyond the northwest tip of the Sagittarius constellation. Saturn and Mars will be nearby, with all visible to the naked eye from now until mid-July.

For those in the southern hemisphere, the mirror image is true – with the asteroid appearing south-westerly of the constellation. Vesta is the second-largest chunk of rock orbiting in the asteroid belt, with Ceres being larger. The latter was recently reclassified as a dwarf planet. The asteroid belt is a ring of space debris that orbits around the sun and resides between Mars and Jupiter. Most recently, Vesta came closer to our planet than it has in 20 years.

4 Vesta
To stargazers in the northern hemisphere, Vesta will appear beyond the northwest tip of the Sagittarius constellation, with Saturn and Mars nearby. This graphic shows its path from May to August

“We are starting to study the oldest primary area encountered in our solar system. This region of space has been ignored for too long,” said Christopher Russell, a professor at the University of California and chief mission coordinator.

Vesta is believed to be one of the main sources of meteorites falling on Terra. The asteroid is 188,000,000 kilometres away from Terra. The spacecraft transmitted information confirming its entry into the orbit of the asteroid, but it still could not be the exact time of the event. The moment depends on Vesta’s mass and gravitational attraction, which until now has been known only for estimation. Therefore, if Vesta is massive, its gravitational force is stronger, which means that Dawn was attracted to orbit in a shorter time.If the asteroid is less massive, its gravitational force is also weaker, and Dawn must have been attracted more slowly. Now that the spacecraft is in orbit, scientists will be able to find exact dates for Vesta’s table and will gather precise timeline information.

References:
  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech
  2. https://www.express.co.uk/news/science
  3. http://www.descopera.ro/stiinta

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