The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Venus and Vesta?

Earlier today, David Dickinson posted on twitter that there was a conjunction of Venus and the asteroid Vesta tonight. They would pass about 0.4 degrees from one another. However, separation between them changes very quickly…I looked it up and by the time it got dark in Tucson, they would be about two degrees apart. I thought, hey, I should try photographing that. Last year I successfully photographed Venus and Uranus. Vesta, however, is fainter and I would be fighting twilight so I knew it would be a tough shot. But I have bought a better camera since last year, a better tripod, and an iOptron Sky Tracker so I can take longer exposures as well.

I had to move a bit from my usual spot to dodge a bright streetlight and then ended up with a couple of power lines in the field of view. And then there is the weather! I had very little time to take pics before Venus dropped into the clouds. I got a few shots. After getting home, I tinkered with the photos in Lightroom a bit. I tried to bring out the fainter objects so the colors may be a little wonky. I then fired up Stellarium and set it to the right time and place and tried to match up the stars in Stellarium with my image to see if I could track down Vesta. First, the Stellarium image.

stellarium-001

So now my image. I have labeled a few of the prominent stars and what I THINK MIGHT be Vesta. Look for a small object right above the “t” in Vesta (click to embiggen).

IMG_7901-labeled

So, does anyone want to confirm I got it or put the kabash on this one?

While looking at Stellarium, I noticed that Ceres is not too far above Venus and they are moving toward a conjunction in the not too distant Ceres will pass 4.8 degrees from Ceres on July 2nd…not quite as close, but I should have a shot at that one and hope for good weather that night!

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June 25, 2013 - Posted by | Asteroids, Astrophotography, Conjunctions, Venus, Vesta | , ,

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