Skip to comments.Now’s the Time to See Asteroid Pallas at its Best
Posted on 02/18/2014 11:37:56 AM PST by BenLurkin
Looking for something off of the beaten celestial path to observe? The coming weeks will offer telescope users a rare chance to catch a well known asteroid, as it puts on its best show for over two decades.
Over the coming weeks, 2 Pallas, one of the big four asteroids or do you say minor/dwarf planet/planetoid? reaches a favorable observing point known as opposition. Gliding northward through the constellations of Hydra and Sextans through February and March 2014, 2 Pallas presents a favorable binocular challenge for both northern and southern hemisphere observers as it rises to the east opposite to the setting Sun and transits the local meridian around midnight.
... Opposition for Pallas occurs on February 22nd, 2014, when the asteroid is 1.23 AUs distant from our fair planet. Watch for 2 Pallas near opposition this year moving at just under half a degree a day about the diameter of the Full Moon headed northward at closest approach.
Hunting asteroids at the eyepiece can be a challenge, as they visually resemble pinpoint stars and show no apparent disks even at high magnification. Sketching or photographing the field of view on successive nights is a fun and easy way to cross this object off of your life list. For those who own scopes with digital setting circles, Heavens-Above is a great quick look source for current coordinates.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
Where can we see the asteroid to be named after Trayvon Martin?
Speaking of telescopes, can any of you astro-nerds recommend a good one in the vicinity of <$2500?
How will we know we’re seeing the real Pallas and not some pallas symbol?
“PALLAS” by L Neil Smith......
Depends upon what you are looking for. Telescopes are based around aperature and focal length. I had a Meade 8" LX90 that was superb. You can pick those up for very resonable cost with all of the fixins. I would recommend getting one with autoguide (Meade has Autostar, Celestron has Nexstar). Avoid department store or hobby shop types (typically refractors).
Two basic types of telescopes are Refractor & Reflector. Refractor are better for astrophotography. Reflectors are better for wider field of view.
So, my recommendation is Meade 6-8" Reflectors (Schmidt-Cassegrain) with Autostar. Avoid GPS, it is nothing more than a gimmick.
Thanks. I was leaning toward a reflector. What is the Meade 8” price range?
eBay has one starting bid at $550. It is almost exactly what I had and they are very versatile and still allows for seeing deep space objects. The goto feature of Autostar is fantastic and allows for rapid enjoyment. Gotta warn you, though, once you start, it becomes addictive.
Will check it out this evening. Thanks.