Thursday, March 06, 2014
Seeing Vesta (and Ceres) in Binoculars, March 2014
Vesta (and Ceres) is now rising before midnight. Currently around magnitude 6.5, it is readily visible in binoculars (and a lot easier to spot than Pallas). Vesta is relatively easy to find, below Mars (and Ceres is in turn below Vesta, but much dimmer at magnitude 7.5, still visible in 10x50 binoculars under dark skies though). Vesta can be seen to move from night to night, brightening gradually, and reaching unaided eye threshold by the end of the month. Ceres also brightens and becomes easier to see.
Seeing both the past and current targets of the Dawn mission together is kind of fun.