Ceres on the move

Ceres on the Move

The asteroid Ceres is on the move and is headed toward a bright opposition on Feb. 25th.  As shown above, the image on the left was made Jan. 30 and the one on the right Jan. 31.

Look around the left of center in each frame for the bright dot that changed position, that’s the asteroid Ceres.  We may be able to see it naked eye at opposition when it brightens to magnitude 6.9, but you’ll need good sky and seeing conditions.

Currently it’s binocular bright, and located in an easy star field.   The bright star in the images above toward the right of the frame is Delta Leonis.  Piece of cake since it’s the star at the hip of Leo.

Keep an eye on it since Ceres is not going to be this close to Earth again until 4164….      ( at opposition it will be 1.5832 a.u.  away)      Pretty dang cool if you ask me!