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Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:01 pm
Tomorrow is a very good time to spot Pallas, assuming clear skies! It is conveniently positioned next to Eta Bootis in the sky, see picture:
Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:49 pm
Thank you for pointing this out Nigel. The first clear night for ages. Wednesday 10/4/19. Using Acuter 65mm (@x15) think I nailed @ 2115-2130 BST when very close to the Eta Bootis. More information tomorrow. Regards maf.
Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:36 am
Well done, Mike....sob...we were clear, too, but I'm getting over a cold....
...and my wife did me a special meal...thought I'd better look after myself. May have a peep tonight, but forecast is some cloud with clear intervals, so I am keeping everything crossed.
I am hoping to try high magnification with my Dob, to confirm correct identification. I have read that at 400x or more, Pallas should be yellowish and non-stellar.
Good luck for tonight,
Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:15 am
Observations of Pallas: 10/04/19: 2115-2155 BST: Wednesday evening: Sky very clear and cold but still: Used 15x65 Acuter spotter on light tripod from the garden. Arcturus in the east, and panned across to the eta, tau, upsilon triangle, and fl.7 near to eta - the field stars were very easy to find. Very close to eta, Pallas was clearly visible if I looked carefully, even though the local lights from houses were still on and the Boötes not that highup.
11/04/19: 0205-0210BST: Thursday morning: Sky very clear and very cold: Boötes now relatively high in the south, out much less light pollution. Used the same setup and was able to immediately find the starfield and asteroid. Noticeable movement since previous observation confirmed the identification. Regards maf.
Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:30 am
Having just found Pallas again, I took the opportunity to update my records on observations of asteroids. Current figures are as follows.
 Vesta : 176
 Ceres : 70
 Iris : 54
 Pallas : 17
 Bamberga : 5
 Eunomia : 5
(6) Hebe : 6
 Astraea :3
 Melpomene : 3
 Flora :3
 Metis : 2
(3) Juno : 2
(532) Herculina : 3
(Amendments and corrections to date )
No surprise that Vesta (the brightest) was top, and Ceres second.
Iris possibly a bit of a surprise at third.
Bamberga and Herculina both quite highly numbered, and latish discoveries.
I refuse to get involved in the relabeling of Ceres and others that they may want to consider to be dwarf planets!!!
Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:44 am
Oh no, Mike, you must use the PC term for Pallas, `minor planet', lest you cause offence!
Ditto for me on the observation side, last night at aprox 22:30 and this morning, at about 4.20...unmistakable, Pallas had moved, come the second observation. I am quite chuffed; this was my first ever asteroid sighting!
I must add that I was unable to glean an unstellar view with high magnification. Now that I have found the time to glance at the asteroids stats, I am unsurprised; it is rather small!
Good fun to spot, though!
Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:46 am
A Night with Asteroid Pallas. Thursday - Friday, 11 & 12/4/19.
1. Early evening. 2115-2130BST: Clear sky but rather poor visibility + house lighting pollution. However, Pallas could be picked out in 15x63 Acuter spotter through the bedroom window. Now further from eta Boötis. It was then seen from the garden.
2. Around midnight. 0035BST: From the garden with 15x 65 spotter. Less light pollution and better transparency and therefore a good view was had of Pallas.
3. Pre-dawn. 0416-0458BST. Now conditions were very good and Pallas was, at first, viewed with 15x65 spotter, from the very edge of the garden as Boötes disappeared behind the house wall. Then observed it from the westfacing front-room window. Despite the light pollution in the street, Pallas was visible in the 15x65 spotter and then also in the 12-36x50 small spotter. It was followed until dawn began to break along the eastern horizon just before 0500BST.
Movement was noticed throughout this series of observations.
(NB. I did not stay up all night but went to bed between the individual sightings!)
Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:46 am
Sky & Telescope (April edition) contains a two page spread with detailed sky map of the path of asteroid (2) Pallas during April (pages 48 and 49). The next page contains similar details about asteroid (7) Iris, which is quite faint this time round...only magnitude 9.4, rather than the 6.9 that it reached in 2017. Regards maf.
Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:28 am
Saturday, 13/4/19, 2150-2200BST: Some strips of cirrus etc but mostly clear sky. Used 15x65 spotter from
the back garden. Pallas now some way from eta Boötis, on the outskirts of an asterism of 8th & 9th stars which looks rather like a tiny, faint Auriga.
Sunday, 14/4/19, 0120-0135BST: conditions and set-up as before. Pallas heading into an area rather star -empty. Currently the noticeable rather faint pair of stars in the upper left of the mini-asterism is a good guide.
Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:04 pm
Thanks for the tip about Sky & Telescope, Mike.