Sunday, February 23, 2014
Seeing the Asteroid Pallas at Opposition
The Asteroid 2 Pallas came to opposition on the 22nd of February and is magnitude 7.0. While not visible to the unaided eye, it is potentially easily visible in binoculars, and well remain so for several weeks.Now is a great time to try and spot the second asteroid ever discovered.
While reasonably bright, Pallas is located in a fairly nondescript field in Hydrus, not far from the brightest star in the rambling constellation, Alphard. So it may be the best way to identify Pallas is using the chart above, and noting which "star" moves from night to night. It becomes much easier towards the end of February, when it is closer to Alphard.
On 3 March 2 Pallas is almost on top of the otherwise nondescript magnitude 6.12 start HIP 46869.