Ceres and Vesta close conjunction: image and podcast (5 July 2014)
Finally, at Virtual Telescope we observed the dwarf planet (1) Ceres and the asteroid (4) Vesta at their minimum angular distance (10 arcminutes, 1/3 of the angular size of the full Moon disk), sharing the sight with several thousands of people from all around the globe, who joined our live coverage of the conjunction.
Above is a spectacular image, coming from the average of three, 15-seconds exposures, then superimposed after registering them against the stars. As both Ceres and Vesta were moving across the stars, they changed position from one image to the other, this explaining why they show as “triple” objects (three images!). All the images were collected remotely with the 17″ robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope. There was a very strong interference by the Moon, less than 10 deg apart.
Below is a podcast coming from the live coverage.
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive stunning, LIMITED EDITION panel showing the evolution of comet 46P/Wirtanen over the last weeks and more amazing images, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)
You can also order our 2019 Calendar, featuring our unique images of the stars above the legendary monuments of Rome!