How to Spot Asteroid Juno in the Night Sky
by Geoff Gaherty, Starry Night Education
Date: 16 May 2012 Time: 04:01 PM ET
On Sunday May 20, the same evening as the annular eclipse
of the sun, the asteroid Juno reaches opposition, directly opposite the
sun in the sky, between the constellations Ophiuchus and Serpens Caput.
CREDIT: Starry Night
A small, faint asteroid will be coming into view this week, and lucky skywatchers with the right tools could catch a glimpse of the space rock.
In the first few years of the 19th century, astronomers discovered four new bodies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Three of these asteroids, Ceres, Pallas and Vesta, were fairly large objects, measuring between 592 and 319 miles (952 and 513 kilometers) across.
The fourth asteroid, Juno, was much smaller and fainter. It was discovered by the German astronomer Karl Harding in 1804.
Irregular in shape, Juno measures 199 by 166 by 124 miles (320 by 267 by 200 km), with an average diameter of 145 miles (233 km). This makes Juno about the size of the state of Maine.
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