Between a Rock and a Hard Place

   Friday evening, April 8th at sunset or shortly thereafter look toward the western horizon for a very thin 1.5-day young waxing crescent Moon. There you will find the Moon between two rocky objects, an asteroid and a planet.
   Down to the right from the Moon is the innermost planet Mercury shining at nearly 1st magnitude. Just up to the left and less than 1o from the Moon is the asteroid 4 Vesta, which by contrast currently has an apparent magnitude of nearly 8.0 making it an object visible in binoculars and telescopes.
   At 4 UT April 9th the Moon will occult, pass in front of Vesta, but this occultation will only be visible from the Philippine Islands, and Hawaii and a few other islands in that part of the Pacific Ocean.

   Read more about Vesta at Wikipedia, or at the NASA Dawn mission web site.


Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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