The Astronomy Connection
San Francisco Bay Area Astronomy => TAC Visual => Topic started by: mccarthymark on April 19, 2017, 12:23:21 PM
Hoping the weather will hold out long enough to catch this tonight. At 11pm it makes a close approach to M64 -- maybe same FOV?
Astroids are kind of nice (when they don't hit Earth ;D )
Not as 'photogenic' as comets but fun to view to solidify the reality that large chunks of matter fly about in space and get near us from time to time.
Thanks for the reminder Mark
I was able to see the asteroid last night, but only briefly. I could not use my 12.5-inch with tracking platform since from that location in my yard it was behind a tree, so I used my non tracking 8-inch f/7.25, which I set up in a different corner of the yard. The light pollution & haze were so bad I could not see Coma Berenices & had to start my star hop from Cor Caroli (a magnificent place to start, so no real complaint). Using the S&T finders I easily picked up the field using 67x at 9:00pm, but I did not see the asteroid for about 10 minutes -- it was a little further along than I was looking and considerably fainter than I expected -- likely due to the haze. Its movement was noticeable at 113x and it seemed to dim and brighten -- but I think this was the seeing rather than brightness change. I watched it move for about five minutes before a marine layer swept over the sky.
I looked for five minutes more at Jupiter, showing wonderful detail, before it too was lost. I stayed out for a while longer, watching the broken chunks of marine layer slide overhead -- but it was soon a solid mass and there was no hope of me seeing the asteroid again.