Minor Planet, Asteroid 4 Vesta at Opposition

   Wednesday 9 May the minor planet, Asteroid 4 Vesta will be at its perihelion for this orbit. Perihelion is when a solar orbiting object is at its minimum distance, or closest to the Sun. Asteroid 4 Vesta is one of the largest main belt asteroids with a diameter of about 525 km (326 miles).

   At this perihelion 4 Vesta will be 2.1517 AU (321,889,738 km; 200,013,010 miles) from the Sun. At this distance 4 Vesta will reach an apparent magnitude of around 6.0 meaning that it could be visible using binoculars. 4 Vesta lies within the region of the Milky Way and about 1o from 4 Vesta is the Omega Nebula, M-17 (apparent magnitude 7.0), and around 4o from 4 Vesta is the Eagle Nebula, M-16 (apparent magnitude 6.5).


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