Minor Planets Section        


 Greetings Asteroid Observers!  

On July 16 2011 the DAWN mission will arrive at the minor planet VESTA, entering orbit, and a new era in minor planet science will, should we say, Dawn!

Complete information on the historic DAWN mission is posted at the NASA web pages for your viewing at the following url.


The mission outline at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/faqs.asp covers the most basic information details for the public.  

VESTA will also become a naked eye object in the night sky, an excellent addition to this historic event, observing charts for both Vesta and Ceres  are available in pdf form at the following sky and telescope url


While VESTA will become a naked eye object, binoculars will be needed those who skies are just short in transparency, or observing dates removed from the peak brightness below (chart from Sly and telescope)

Date Ceres Vesta
June 1 9.1 6.8
July 1 8.7 6.3
August 1 8.4 5.7
September 1 7.8 6.3
October 1 7.8 7.0
November 1 8.4 7.5
December 1 8.7 7.9

under construction 6-26-11

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