Podcaster:  Shane and Chris

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Title: How To Observe Ceres And Other Asteroids

Organization:  Actual Astronomy

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Description: The Actual Astronomy Podcast presents a How To Observe Ceres And Other Asteroids. This episode features a guide to getting started observing minor planets like Ceres as well as easy to see asteroids. In this episode we highlight some of the recent science on these objects as well as the history of how they were discovered. We provide resources and a brief guide on how you can view each one including the constellations they are in and what you’ll need to do to confirm a sighting.

Bio: Shane and Chris are amateur astronomers who enjoy teaching astronomy classes and performing outreach where they help the eyes of the public to telescope eyepieces.

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00:00:02.220 –> 00:00:13.410
Chris Beckett: Welcome to episode 173 of the actual astronomy podcast i’m Chris and joining me shane we are amateur astronomers who love looking up at the night sky and this podcast is for anyone else.

00:00:13.650 –> 00:00:21.990
Chris Beckett: That likes going out under the stars in this episode we’ll talk about small solar system objects, you can see, in tiny telescopes.

00:00:22.260 –> 00:00:33.270
Chris Beckett: And so I was thinking shane with Jupiter and Saturn leaving us, I thought, maybe people might be interested in some other solar system objects, what do you think.

00:00:33.840 –> 00:00:42.480
Shane Ludtke: I like it a lot, and one of the reasons why I like this topic is, we can also do this from urban you know light polluted locations.

00:00:43.080 –> 00:00:56.400
Shane Ludtke: You don’t necessarily need a real dark sky to observe these things you just need some optics so i’m always a fan of objects, I can observe just in my backyard and not have to worry about driving to a dark site.

00:00:56.910 –> 00:01:05.670
Chris Beckett: And I was thinking about you, with this topic, I was, I was the past few weeks we’ve kind of banter around some different ideas and then, as we kind of led up to this week, I thought.

00:01:06.120 –> 00:01:15.300
Chris Beckett: You know I think this would work well, because here with the major planets you know Jupiter and Saturn are kind of pretty pretty low down in the evening sky now and they’ll quickly be out of our sky.

00:01:15.840 –> 00:01:33.060
Chris Beckett: We do have some other solar system objects that we can go and take a look at, you can see, in small telescopes and binoculars so they don’t require any any large gear so it’s kind of a fun thing to do, you know and like you said you can see it and even from a recently like polluted city.

00:01:33.750 –> 00:01:43.140
Shane Ludtke: yeah exactly you know and and it’s what I also liked about these is it’s a different way of observing which we’ll get into you know how do you actually observe these things.

00:01:43.320 –> 00:01:45.270
Shane Ludtke: You know you’ve observed, one of these things.

00:01:45.540 –> 00:01:51.660
Shane Ludtke: It is a little bit different and I like that it just varies how we observe things in the solar system.

00:01:52.800 –> 00:02:01.350
Chris Beckett: yeah so and just sort of a little bit of background here so i’m the are going to be sort of a i’m a work in progress and that’s.

00:02:02.610 –> 00:02:07.110
Chris Beckett: The Royal astronomical society of canada’s observers calendar.

00:02:07.260 –> 00:02:09.660
Chris Beckett: editor to be or editor and waiting i’m.

00:02:09.810 –> 00:02:10.860
Chris Beckett: starting to work on the.

00:02:12.000 –> 00:02:17.130
Chris Beckett: edition, and the, the editor who’s, the editor for the current edition is Paul.

00:02:17.460 –> 00:02:23.850
Chris Beckett: And we were meeting this week and we were talking about some stuff and starting to get the files together for for 2023.

00:02:24.150 –> 00:02:34.650
Chris Beckett: And one thing Paul talked to me about, and this is This is so true it’s really cool is that when you’re working on these types of publications, and so I just do this as a volunteer.

00:02:35.160 –> 00:02:43.680
Chris Beckett: it’s not my page job, I have a regular day job at a university but but but for this, this is just for fun and I, and I really love this kind of stuff.

00:02:43.950 –> 00:02:49.410
Chris Beckett: They love figuring out, you know what you can look at and what you can see in the nighttime sky and sharing it with people.

00:02:49.740 –> 00:02:59.100
Chris Beckett: And so, by working on a calendar like this, I get to share it with with a with a different audience than maybe i’m usually reaching through this podcast or my classes, but Paul talked to me about.

00:03:00.060 –> 00:03:11.460
Chris Beckett: Bruce mccurdy and Bruce mccready is a well known member of our organization here in Canada and he used to have a column, I think, was in in the journal of our organization which is free online anybody can go and download it.

00:03:11.790 –> 00:03:16.290
Chris Beckett: At aria and and Bruce used to have a call maybe still does.

00:03:17.160 –> 00:03:27.660
Chris Beckett: But he but he used to still used to have this column called orbital oddities because as as we’re going through this material you come up with these interesting things and Paul was talking to me about this.

00:03:28.050 –> 00:03:43.590
Chris Beckett: And then I turn around and like Okay, and he kind of gave me some places to get started, and so I thought, well, the first thing when they do what i’d like to do is see if I can replicate what the last person did whether it’s at a job or whether it’s volunteering I like to say okay well.

00:03:44.640 –> 00:03:53.670
Chris Beckett: What can I do with the last person did and then and then ask them further further questions, to make sure i’m i’m on the right track, and so I started looking at the minor.

00:03:53.730 –> 00:03:54.660
Chris Beckett: planet list.

00:03:54.960 –> 00:04:08.940
Chris Beckett: And the first minor planet that that’s coming up, I knew it was going to be at opposition, this coming it’s this week now and that’s going to be series so on the 27th and 28th series is going to be at opposition and.

00:04:09.960 –> 00:04:23.850
Chris Beckett: And what I noticed, though, is that for next year series isn’t at opposition it’s that period helium so we’re not going to have a series opposition next year, and this has to do with the fact that.

00:04:24.540 –> 00:04:35.070
Chris Beckett: That series is an orbit around the sun, it takes for 4.6 or so years for it to orbit around the sun and so that you know it’s sort of roughly you know I think for for this and for the next year.

00:04:35.670 –> 00:04:43.200
Chris Beckett: This year coming and then five years down the road we don’t get enough position in those years because it’s it’s at para healing and other, you can see it.

00:04:43.860 –> 00:04:55.680
Chris Beckett: it’s not to be at its best so with that I thought, well, maybe we’ll talk about observing series because it’s going to be at its best this week and in the next few weeks.

00:04:56.010 –> 00:05:07.890
Chris Beckett: And sort of leading up to Christmas and then we’re not gonna have a series opposition next year, so this is a great opportunity for people to go and take a look at a pretty easy.

00:05:08.340 –> 00:05:17.250
Chris Beckett: Minor planet to see because this minor planet is going to be at seventh manatee this week and that’s something you can see, pretty easy in binoculars.

00:05:17.940 –> 00:05:29.040
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah I think you know if somebody is looking for a new observing project, one thing they could consider is observing a number of the minor planets or asteroids.

00:05:29.520 –> 00:05:39.300
Shane Ludtke: In our solar system there’s about I think 25 or so that are visible in like four inches of aperture so that’s a fairly you know common or modest backyard telescope.

00:05:39.780 –> 00:05:46.380
Shane Ludtke: And like you mentioned Chris opposition only happens once every five years for series, and in general.

00:05:46.950 –> 00:05:58.710
Shane Ludtke: With a lot of these objects you’ll be looking for they’re about every four to six years is opposition, so you really have a you know, a sort of a short window to observe these things at their brightest.

00:05:59.760 –> 00:06:14.610
Shane Ludtke: And then you lose that so if you’re interested in this project, you know if you want to make this something you observe this is the best time to start because, as you mentioned series is going to be at opposition here in the next couple of or next week I guess.

00:06:14.820 –> 00:06:22.260
Shane Ludtke: yep so it’s the brightest one it’s the easiest one to start with, and then it can kind of kick start your your observing project.

00:06:22.560 –> 00:06:27.060
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah it’s the brightest one right now, I think we get a cut like best it gets a little brighter i’ve actually.

00:06:27.330 –> 00:06:28.080
Chris Beckett: A good plan.

00:06:28.170 –> 00:06:36.780
Chris Beckett: sort of my background, and this is it’s not something I do all the time, but i’ve gone through and observed a lot of these asteroids and minor planets.

00:06:37.650 –> 00:06:41.790
Chris Beckett: Just because some nights i’d be going observing.

00:06:42.090 –> 00:06:53.970
Chris Beckett: And I didn’t really have anything on my list, and I remember, there was there were several times in the past, where some of these get up to naked eye visibility, or very close and I just thought man, I really want to see an asteroid.

00:06:54.930 –> 00:07:01.080
Chris Beckett: Just with my eyes, without any optical aid, and so I was able to see, I think, was vesta.

00:07:01.530 –> 00:07:07.890
Chris Beckett: Several times and then and then as well, you think okay well like binoculars as well, like that’s pretty cool to think you know.

00:07:08.340 –> 00:07:15.840
Chris Beckett: Here I have a small pair of binoculars and you know some of you might think, well, what can you see in binoculars know yeah i’m looking at asteroids that’s super neat.

00:07:16.590 –> 00:07:29.010
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah exactly like you know these asteroids are quite a ways away in terms of distance and they’re not large at all, you know I think we’ll get into some of the specifics around series but.

00:07:30.030 –> 00:07:34.860
Shane Ludtke: You know to be able to see some of this with again just handheld binoculars is really incredible.

00:07:35.700 –> 00:07:44.910
Chris Beckett: So when it when it comes to these asteroids as well, what I was interested in as i’m going through our documentation for producing.

00:07:45.510 –> 00:07:51.600
Chris Beckett: The observers calendar for the ASC, which is the organization, we volunteer at the Royal astronomical society Canada.

00:07:51.930 –> 00:07:59.460
Chris Beckett: And we also have the observers handbook and these are both items that are for sale here in Canada as well, I think sky and telescope and some of the other.

00:07:59.850 –> 00:08:13.890
Chris Beckett: places in the States carry these because we do put out an American version of our observers handbook now, so these things are available for for people to purchase, but you know, like I said we just volunteer and we just just do this for fun.

00:08:14.940 –> 00:08:24.330
Chris Beckett: However, when I when I received the the text documents and some of them go back a little a little ways in history, the person who generates these are some of these.

00:08:24.630 –> 00:08:33.480
Chris Beckett: The ones for the asteroids anyway, is is Alice sterling, who is a longtime contributor to too many of the Australian magazines and, most recently astronomy magazine.

00:08:34.710 –> 00:08:41.490
Chris Beckett: And I noticed that series was listed as an asteroid and I was like I thought it was a minor planet and, of course.

00:08:42.000 –> 00:08:50.940
Chris Beckett: It was seen as as an asteroid for a long time and then eventually sort of graduated to minor planets status think like back in 2006 or 2010 or something like that.

00:08:51.210 –> 00:08:57.120
Chris Beckett: And so I I looked it up on on NASA and it said that the series was called an asteroid for many years.

00:08:57.720 –> 00:09:11.190
Chris Beckett: But that it’s so much bigger and so different than its rocky neighbors that scientists have reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006 I don’t know when it transitioned in our literature, but it was 2006 that.

00:09:11.760 –> 00:09:32.520
Chris Beckett: That they made that call and that series comprises 25% of the asteroids asteroid belt total mass so Pluto is is still about 14 times larger but series is much closer, so it gets to seven magnitude, meaning that you can see it fairly easily in binoculars from a moderately sized city.

00:09:33.210 –> 00:09:35.160
Shane Ludtke: mm hmm yeah and.

00:09:37.260 –> 00:09:47.250
Shane Ludtke: The entropy another kind of interesting thing about you know it’s while it’s 25% of the total mass of the asteroid Belt is it’s roughly the same surface area as India.

00:09:48.300 –> 00:09:58.320
Shane Ludtke: So when you think of how big India is and kind of wrap that into a ball it’s not a huge object and again it’s it’s quite a long ways away from us.

00:09:59.850 –> 00:10:06.510
Shane Ludtke: So i’m just fascinated that this thing is observable with binoculars I just can’t get past that, for some reason.

00:10:07.440 –> 00:10:13.650
Chris Beckett: yeah so now it’s been reclassified as as a as a dwarf planet or minor planet and.

00:10:14.310 –> 00:10:22.770
Chris Beckett: You know it’s it’s you know about 968 kilometers at its widest and I put a graphic up for you, she and you can see it.

00:10:23.280 –> 00:10:37.500
Chris Beckett: In between the moon, and an earth, though, would never be between the moon in the earth, hopefully not and you can see that yeah you’re right it’s pretty small in comparison to to our planet and our nearest celestial neighbor.

00:10:39.420 –> 00:10:40.320
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah for sure.

00:10:40.920 –> 00:10:46.020
Chris Beckett: So it goes around the earth will know doesn’t around the earth, I guess doesn’t way but it.

00:10:46.050 –> 00:10:49.530
Chris Beckett: orbits around the sun here, I have, I have the image of the.

00:10:49.620 –> 00:11:01.560
Chris Beckett: Of the earth and series together so that that’s the reason for my gaff but it goes around the sun at a distance of three astronomical units, so what is what is an astronomical unit chain.

00:11:02.160 –> 00:11:14.760
Shane Ludtke: So that is the distance that Earth is from the sun, so we just call that one one astronomical unit, so at just under three it’s about three times as far away from the sun, as we are.

00:11:15.390 –> 00:11:20.220
Chris Beckett: yeah so it sits out in that zone between MARS and Jupiter that is sort of.

00:11:21.180 –> 00:11:34.710
Chris Beckett: called the the asteroid Delta, though it’s it’s sort of a poor choice of words, maybe for that and with series coming up this week at seven magnitude that’s fairly easy to see, though it will just look like a star hey.

00:11:35.070 –> 00:11:44.220
Shane Ludtke: yeah you’re not you’re not going to be able to detect any sort of disk or see any surface features or anything like that it really will be a point of light.

00:11:44.610 –> 00:11:59.250
Shane Ludtke: And it will be easy to mistake it for just a regular old star, and this is where some of the the challenge will come into making this observation, because it’s not again it’s it’s abnormal compared to probably what a lot of us are used to looking for.

00:12:00.000 –> 00:12:06.840
Chris Beckett: Exactly, but one of the neat things about series is that by sitting between MARS and Jupiter.

00:12:07.590 –> 00:12:16.560
Chris Beckett: What we’re looking at is a dwarf planet that’s located in our inner solar system, so when we think about observing the planets and we had the MARS opposition last year.

00:12:17.070 –> 00:12:27.030
Chris Beckett: we’ve been looking at Jupiter and Saturn quite a bit this year because they’ve been well placed in the warm summer sky, so this object kind of just sort of sits in amongst these other planets.

00:12:27.180 –> 00:12:29.370
Chris Beckett: She really observing something that really.

00:12:29.520 –> 00:12:38.280
Chris Beckett: sort of on the astronomical scale of things it’s not really far away, I know, often when I think about minor planets i’m thinking about the ones that sit really far away like Pluto and.

00:12:38.520 –> 00:12:48.390
Chris Beckett: You know some of the other trans neptunian bodies, but they’re really far away and they’re going to be fairly thing to see but here’s one that’s that’s bright enough, I mean really sit with 92 theoretically.

00:12:48.960 –> 00:13:00.990
Chris Beckett: A younger person with really great eyes on a rural farm here, where we live, would be able to see series with their I alone and most shouldn’t have any trouble seeing it in binoculars even from the city.

00:13:01.410 –> 00:13:02.040
Shane Ludtke: yeah for sure.

00:13:02.640 –> 00:13:12.750
Chris Beckett: So this was discovered by Giuseppe piazza in 1801 on the shoulder of tourists and so that’s interesting because.

00:13:13.320 –> 00:13:21.180
Chris Beckett: it’s near its present position so right now it’s actually in tourists and we have, we have a little chart here we’ll talk more about how to find these later, but.

00:13:21.480 –> 00:13:35.280
Chris Beckett: it’s actually near the spot it’s in the same general it’s in the same constellation where it was when it was discovered back in in 1801, which is that you know, approximately about 220 years ago pretty cool.

00:13:35.670 –> 00:13:38.640
Shane Ludtke: yeah super cool and just to maybe build on that a little bit Chris.

00:13:40.020 –> 00:13:54.630
Shane Ludtke: The just before the discovery, I think it was around 1778 or so Johan boat or bodie had a formula that predicted the orbital position of planets like how many us, they would be.

00:13:55.680 –> 00:14:13.590
Shane Ludtke: From the sun, to a certain degree, so he you know he had this formula accurately plotted mercury Venus earth Mars Jupiter and Saturn, but there is a missing planet in this formula, and that was there were supposed to be something between MARS and Jupiter so in 1800.

00:14:14.640 –> 00:14:21.000
Shane Ludtke: PRC and about 23 other astronomers, I guess, they were dubbed the celestial police.

00:14:22.020 –> 00:14:23.190
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah who knew.

00:14:23.670 –> 00:14:24.660
Shane Ludtke: And they be.

00:14:24.690 –> 00:14:26.520
Chris Beckett: Sorry, I wasn’t speeding officer i’m just.

00:14:28.410 –> 00:14:37.230
Shane Ludtke: They started a search for this missing planet because again this this formula that bode put out suggested there should be one in that area.

00:14:38.460 –> 00:14:46.740
Shane Ludtke: And then series was discovered and what was kind of interesting about, that is, it was originally classified as a planet.

00:14:46.830 –> 00:14:47.670
Chris Beckett: that’s right yeah.

00:14:47.730 –> 00:14:49.770
Shane Ludtke: That they thought the missing planet was discovered.

00:14:50.280 –> 00:15:01.650
Shane Ludtke: And you know more and more research prove that to be you know, once the size of this thing was really understood then then thoughts change that it probably is not a planet, but here we are today.

00:15:02.220 –> 00:15:08.460
Chris Beckett: So, and that kind of explains things because when when I was, I read a few papers on this and.

00:15:09.000 –> 00:15:22.170
Chris Beckett: pianos he was using what’s called the Palermo circle, or at least that that’s what the papers that I read called it, so it wasn’t really like a refractor anything like that almost looked like a like a more complicated.

00:15:22.170 –> 00:15:32.400
Chris Beckett: Transit instrument if if people are familiar with that what I was trying to do is to see what size instruments, people were using when they made their discoveries.

00:15:32.670 –> 00:15:45.750
Chris Beckett: And what I found out is that that this instrument that piazza was using had a 7.5 centimeter objective and so that’s actually really close to the same size instrument that use for your for your observation chain.

00:15:46.590 –> 00:15:48.180
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah exactly that’s pretty cool.

00:15:48.690 –> 00:15:57.210
Chris Beckett: yeah so NPs he set up as a is the same key as you known for P as he’s flying star which we’re not going to get into here but that’s.

00:15:57.600 –> 00:16:08.580
Chris Beckett: One of the stars it’s known have amongst the highest proper motion of have any stars in in our galaxy so he’s somebody who’s who’s well reputed he was using a small instrument.

00:16:08.910 –> 00:16:19.710
Chris Beckett: And as for his discovery of course now, you can go on two different websites and get a chart for for series and and hunted up for yourself, even just with a pair of binoculars.

00:16:20.520 –> 00:16:21.540
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah that’s awesome.

00:16:22.020 –> 00:16:28.500
Chris Beckett: So nasa’s dawn spacecraft arrived in 2015 Do you remember this remember when the.

00:16:28.500 –> 00:16:30.930
Chris Beckett: dude on it was so exciting.

00:16:32.430 –> 00:16:39.270
Chris Beckett: Because it was drawing close to series, it was picking up this really bright.on the surface, you remember that.

00:16:39.630 –> 00:16:45.360
Shane Ludtke: yeah and like like huge contrast like it was very strange to see that.

00:16:46.230 –> 00:16:52.500
Chris Beckett: And there was all kinds of debates, of course, you know these fall from from scientific to pseudo scientific.

00:16:52.860 –> 00:17:05.310
Chris Beckett: And you know, there was debate on whether it was going to be an alien colony with bright spotlights and all kinds of different things like that, but of course it ends up being this ice volcano in Oxford crater.

00:17:06.810 –> 00:17:10.320
Shane Ludtke: Pretty neat yeah yeah and it’s super white compared to the rest of the.

00:17:10.470 –> 00:17:24.180
Shane Ludtke: Like the asteroid where you know the asteroid to me has a bit of that lunar grade but, like the darker Gray, and then you know this volcanic area is basically white, so it really stands out.

00:17:24.930 –> 00:17:32.610
Chris Beckett: yeah it just looked you know in those in those photos you know even from early photos as it began its approach it started picking us up right away.

00:17:33.060 –> 00:17:37.380
Chris Beckett: And that was like the only thing you could see was just like this bright looked like.

00:17:37.800 –> 00:17:43.770
Chris Beckett: You know, basically a giant spotlight coming radio from the Center and it’s it’s remarkable it’s not that it’s.

00:17:44.130 –> 00:17:59.550
Chris Beckett: You know, you know towards the limb or anything it’s it’s almost like dead Center at least, it was you know just from the angle that the spacecraft was on approach anyone I guess it could have been approaching from any angle, but just just this this bank made it’s so dramatic a.

00:18:00.060 –> 00:18:02.850
Shane Ludtke: Pretty oh yeah it’s really amazing and.

00:18:03.300 –> 00:18:10.560
Shane Ludtke: And you know your mind does start to wonder or wander a little bit, you know as to the possibility of what that could be and.

00:18:11.040 –> 00:18:21.270
Shane Ludtke: Usually like, and you know many cases the simplest explanation is the right one, and I think you know just a brighter area reflecting more light, as you know what they discovered.

00:18:21.690 –> 00:18:29.070
Chris Beckett: yeah and one of our connections to series is that it’s named after the Roman goddess of corn and harvests and the word cereal.

00:18:29.430 –> 00:18:39.690
Chris Beckett: comes from the name series So there you go when you’re when you’re eating your cereal after a long native observing shane that’s why it has the name serial it comes after series.

00:18:40.200 –> 00:18:42.210
Chris Beckett: Perfect that you didn’t know that.

00:18:42.360 –> 00:18:43.290
Shane Ludtke: I know that.

00:18:44.910 –> 00:18:49.530
Chris Beckett: Right now series is sitting almost up in the pleiades actually you know.

00:18:50.610 –> 00:18:59.310
Chris Beckett: In the high 80s it actually sits between the ids and the pleiades but it’s really close to where the moon was during the Lunar eclipse the other night.

00:18:59.520 –> 00:19:07.080
Chris Beckett: And if I had thought of looking for this, I really should have done this, I really should have hunted down series when the moon was just sitting.

00:19:07.590 –> 00:19:17.820
Chris Beckett: right there that would have been really cool to be able to see the moon in eclipse and an asteroid in a open cluster that would have been super cool.

00:19:18.480 –> 00:19:19.950
Shane Ludtke: That would have been yeah yeah.

00:19:21.150 –> 00:19:26.790
Shane Ludtke: I guess maybe you know next time there’s a lunar eclipse and series is that opposition Maybe you can catch it then.

00:19:27.150 –> 00:19:30.180
Chris Beckett: yeah perhaps i’m thinking that’s unlikely but regardless.

00:19:30.450 –> 00:19:40.320
Chris Beckett: series the minor planet is sitting in and around the heidi’s, which is an open cluster up and tourists it’s a really famous and easy to see open cluster.

00:19:41.040 –> 00:19:51.240
Chris Beckett: pair of binoculars will show it it’s like the main part of the constellation of tourists forms like that that V shape of stars or the head and it’s only really.

00:19:51.930 –> 00:19:55.620
Chris Beckett: I think it’s about four degrees away from elberon just to the.

00:19:55.830 –> 00:20:08.160
Chris Beckett: North West in the direction of the pleiades now, you will need a decent chart to people to figure out which which of these stars you’re looking at in so.

00:20:08.820 –> 00:20:16.170
Chris Beckett: I have a have a chart here Shannon if we can tweet it out or not, but I made this chart up showing where series is.

00:20:16.980 –> 00:20:24.180
Chris Beckett: Like I said it’s just on the North western edge of the Heidi star cluster and at seven magnitude.

00:20:24.660 –> 00:20:36.750
Chris Beckett: What you should be able to do with your binoculars is to take a look see where it is and then just draw the field there’s actually a star that it’s sitting very close by sitting near.

00:20:37.170 –> 00:20:45.810
Chris Beckett: I think it’s about a an eighth magnitude star, and so what you should be able to do is the series move in relation to that star.

00:20:47.550 –> 00:20:52.710
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah you know how apparent will that movement be Chris.

00:20:53.340 –> 00:20:58.860
Chris Beckett: it’s actually quite apparent over the course of a few days now typically.

00:20:59.460 –> 00:21:06.060
Chris Beckett: What I would suggest doing is is having at least a couple days between your observations that was series moves.

00:21:06.480 –> 00:21:13.650
Chris Beckett: fairly quickly so you’re going to be able to maybe detected even from one day to the next, and certainly you can do get.

00:21:14.160 –> 00:21:20.730
Chris Beckett: Clear nights back to back and you are going to to observe series, then you know of course you’re going to observe it could take.

00:21:21.300 –> 00:21:33.240
Chris Beckett: Maybe even a few days to detect emotion, but over the course of the week, safe, you had you know a few clear nights over the course of a week certainly would be able to detect the motion of series there.

00:21:34.080 –> 00:21:41.970
Shane Ludtke: yeah for sure, in general, a lot of these asteroids will move at about I think it’s like want to say 30 to 40 seconds per hour.

00:21:43.110 –> 00:21:50.790
Shane Ludtke: Now, what can make it challenging in some cases, is how close is the asteroid in comparison to any of the background stars.

00:21:51.150 –> 00:21:54.630
Shane Ludtke: that’s there’s an if there’s a number of background stars and you can.

00:21:54.810 –> 00:22:00.540
Shane Ludtke: You know sketch what you believe to be serious or series in a you know, in conjunction with these other stars.

00:22:01.770 –> 00:22:10.140
Shane Ludtke: The movement will probably be more apparent to you over the course of a couple of nights if there’s not many stars in the star field.

00:22:10.740 –> 00:22:19.350
Shane Ludtke: It can be a little more challenging to detect it and you may need a little bit more space between your observations to really see how it’s changed in relation to the background stars.

00:22:20.190 –> 00:22:29.760
Shane Ludtke: Another thing to do, and this is just a tip in general for observing asteroids is see if there’s any like you know, so you believe you senior asteroid.

00:22:30.210 –> 00:22:38.100
Shane Ludtke: Or, there are other stars that form like triangles are squares are rectangles and if you can draw some of those shapes.

00:22:38.430 –> 00:22:51.660
Shane Ludtke: In and amongst the stars, it may help you to notice when that triangle changes, you know it becomes a right triangle, or something like that, over the course of a couple of nights and that can help you sometimes pick up the motion as well.

00:22:52.740 –> 00:22:59.190
Chris Beckett: yeah and that’s that’s a really good point yeah I think that’s that’s an excellent way to describe it now, of course.

00:22:59.520 –> 00:23:07.620
Chris Beckett: Almost regardless of the size of the instrument use it’s still going to look, just like a star, so the cool part is is that whether you use binoculars or a small telescope.

00:23:07.890 –> 00:23:14.640
Chris Beckett: And it’s not really going to matter, even if you had a really big telescope and you pointed at series well you’re really just going to be able to see it as.

00:23:14.910 –> 00:23:22.770
Chris Beckett: As a point of light you’re not going to be able to see the cryo volcano or any craters or anything like that it’s still just going to look like.

00:23:23.280 –> 00:23:31.410
Chris Beckett: Basically it’s just going on with like a seven magnitude star, but maybe you’d be able to see some disk I don’t know i’m curious to see maybe if we can.

00:23:31.800 –> 00:23:37.860
Chris Beckett: get a good night next weekend we’ll get it with makes 12 inch telescope and see see if we can make can make a disco there I don’t know.

00:23:38.220 –> 00:23:48.420
Shane Ludtke: Though yeah that would be interesting, and maybe just a circle back to your comment about star charts if you are going to try series with a telescope.

00:23:49.230 –> 00:23:57.330
Shane Ludtke: Try to try to make it try to make the image in your chart the same as what it looks like through a telescope so if you’re using a refractor.

00:23:57.660 –> 00:24:08.610
Shane Ludtke: it’s left right reversed if you can do that, and then print out the proper image is how it will appear through your telescope that will help you immensely in determining whether or not you’re.

00:24:09.000 –> 00:24:17.340
Shane Ludtke: You know likely looking at series, because if you have to start doing those gymnastics in your head, it can get a little confusing outside when you’re at the eyepiece.

00:24:18.150 –> 00:24:27.120
Shane Ludtke: And a number of these planetarium programs will allow you to flip left right upside down all of that sort of stuff to match whatever type of telescope you have.

00:24:28.380 –> 00:24:43.110
Chris Beckett: And you know, even if you don’t have any good planetarium software a super easy way to do that is, if you have access to any of the host of Microsoft products, you can just excuse me, you can just take the image drop it into like word or PowerPoint.

00:24:43.110 –> 00:24:50.970
Chris Beckett: or something like that, and then just use the little flipper and you can just sort of flipped oriented to match the field to match your field through your telescope.

00:24:51.360 –> 00:24:52.650
Shane Ludtke: yeah that’s a good tip for sure.

00:24:52.920 –> 00:25:04.830
Chris Beckett: yeah just because of my my setup I don’t my planetarium software won’t do that on the computer that I use it on so I just take the image Oh, and then just flipped around in usually in PowerPoint and always have PowerPoint open.

00:25:05.340 –> 00:25:09.810
Chris Beckett: Perfect alright, so we move on to 44 nicer.

00:25:10.920 –> 00:25:12.120
Shane Ludtke: Yes, we should.

00:25:12.420 –> 00:25:27.330
Chris Beckett: So 44 nice set is magnitude 9.1 so this one is a little challenging but it’s an interesting asteroid that’s going to be an opposition on December 13 so we talked about series now series is sort of the star of our show here.

00:25:27.630 –> 00:25:29.850
Chris Beckett: And that’s a great one to start with.

00:25:29.970 –> 00:25:38.070
Chris Beckett: Here we have it at opposition magnitude seven pretty easy to see it’s a good training ground next month we’re going to have 44 a nicer.

00:25:38.280 –> 00:25:46.140
Chris Beckett: And it’s going to be a little bit more challenging at ninth magnitude, but again still visible in binoculars and small telescopes.

00:25:46.740 –> 00:25:59.940
Chris Beckett: From a city if you’re having trouble and you can’t see ninth magnitude stars, you might have to get out to to a darker sky, but from a city typically a small telescope is going to show this and why is it worth, why is it worth looking at chain, why should we look at 44 nicer.

00:26:00.930 –> 00:26:10.650
Shane Ludtke: Well, I don’t know for me it’s it’s it so we just talked about series and how large it is it’s 968 kilometers that its widest.

00:26:11.070 –> 00:26:26.040
Shane Ludtke: nicer is 71 kilometers and it’s wider so it’s it’s much smaller so again it’s fascinating that we can use very modest instruments and be able to see this rock tumbling through space, I think it’s really cool.

00:26:28.230 –> 00:26:36.030
Chris Beckett: it’s also a class E type asteroid and it’s the largest of this type and their contracts.

00:26:36.300 –> 00:26:38.640
Chris Beckett: And don’t you have some of condrey meteorites.

00:26:38.970 –> 00:26:40.710
Shane Ludtke: Well, yes, I do yeah yeah.

00:26:41.760 –> 00:26:43.770
Chris Beckett: I thought I thought that’s what you would hit on.

00:26:44.250 –> 00:27:00.390
Shane Ludtke: Right yeah I probably should have yeah a contrail meteorites are I don’t know I don’t think any meteorite as super common on earth, but if you want to buy in a condo right you, you can you can find them and yeah that’s really cool that this is part of that class.

00:27:02.040 –> 00:27:17.220
Chris Beckett: yeah so for one of the types of meteorites you can actually find on earth or purchase like she said, well, here, you have the largest of the type, so I thought it’d be really cool if you actually held your contract meteorite.

00:27:17.370 –> 00:27:18.330
Chris Beckett: In a handshake.

00:27:18.540 –> 00:27:24.360
Chris Beckett: And then you looked at this object, because I mean really, then you actually are holding a piece.

00:27:24.750 –> 00:27:37.440
Chris Beckett: Of of asteroid material that’s of the same type as as the object that you’re looking at it sort of would bring like a like a real presence to to your observation I thought that would be pretty cool.

00:27:38.160 –> 00:27:46.350
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah for sure i’ll have to i’ll have to dig out my meteorites and see which I think I have a couple of contracts so yeah i’ll do that.

00:27:46.770 –> 00:27:57.540
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah so anyway, I just I just thought that’d be fine when I was making this up, I thought will then interesting, and so this is to to about 2.8.

00:27:57.930 –> 00:28:06.930
Chris Beckett: astronomical units away so it’s generally a little bit closer than then series but it’s much smaller as he was saying.

00:28:07.230 –> 00:28:18.870
Chris Beckett: And it goes around the sun every 3.8 years and it only gets to be about nine magnitude but it’s sort of like the interesting party was discovered by Herman goldschmidt.

00:28:19.230 –> 00:28:25.980
Chris Beckett: On may 27 in 1857 and it was using a telescope that he bought it was just.

00:28:26.820 –> 00:28:40.410
Chris Beckett: or sorry he should say it wasn’t using this telescope but he started observing with a telescope that was only two inches in diameter using money that he got by selling portraits that he painted of Galileo, when he was staying in Florence.

00:28:41.010 –> 00:28:41.310

00:28:42.330 –> 00:28:44.400
Shane Ludtke: I love stories like that I think that’s amazing.

00:28:44.790 –> 00:28:52.980
Chris Beckett: yeah so he painted some some portraits of Galileo and and sold those and then bought a telescope so very, very fitting.

00:28:53.280 –> 00:29:01.410
Chris Beckett: And then he eventually upgraded to something like 60 or 70 millimeter and then eventually he got to the four inch and sort of along the way, in his journey.

00:29:01.680 –> 00:29:09.090
Chris Beckett: He end up discovering something like 14 asteroids, I think, and like you were saying before many of these were thought to be planets during his day.

00:29:10.200 –> 00:29:10.890
Shane Ludtke: yeah very cool.

00:29:12.030 –> 00:29:19.920
Chris Beckett: So it’s named after the mythical land of nicer which is from a Greek myth, but the person.

00:29:20.820 –> 00:29:31.110
Chris Beckett: Who really contributed to a lot of what we know about nice so was a Dutch astronomer named Harry run and he made observations on march 12 2012.

00:29:31.410 –> 00:29:40.710
Chris Beckett: To confirm the conical shape that was discovered by the hubble space telescope using a set of occupation, so I thought that was really need to so that.

00:29:41.130 –> 00:29:47.370
Chris Beckett: It was it was discovered, you know back in the in the 1950s and then eventually hubble comes along.

00:29:48.300 –> 00:29:56.820
Chris Beckett: You know hypothesizes through its observations and it’s science team that it’s has this Cone shape and then any amateur astronomer says yep.

00:29:57.150 –> 00:30:05.010
Chris Beckett: hubble got it right, you know, does that confirmation, I thought that really is sort of a full full circle, you know for this for this object in space.

00:30:05.400 –> 00:30:06.720
Shane Ludtke: yeah for sure that’s cool.

00:30:07.950 –> 00:30:20.100
Chris Beckett: So when I was looking this up, though, for some reason this object did not come up in my planetarium software, so I was looking around and there’s a website called in dash the

00:30:20.490 –> 00:30:29.010
Chris Beckett: And you can go in there and plunk in any asteroid and it will make you up a custom chart you can zoom in and out, so I made up a custom chart for this one.

00:30:29.220 –> 00:30:41.010
Chris Beckett: So just like series this object is in the constellation of tourists now it’s over sort of on the on the eastern side of tourists where his series is sitting.

00:30:41.730 –> 00:30:56.520
Chris Beckett: In the in the highest cluster right now, this one is over, on the eastern most Horn, or just below and then it’s going to sort of track back towards the ids and then move back around so right now.

00:30:57.150 –> 00:31:07.500
Chris Beckett: You know we’re looking sort of at mid December it’s going to be sort of partway along that Eastern Horn and then just below a little bit, but you’re going to have to go and generate yourself.

00:31:07.950 –> 00:31:15.270
Chris Beckett: a pretty good star chart because even a lot of star charts that people might have are only going to plot stars down to.

00:31:15.540 –> 00:31:26.430
Chris Beckett: Ninth magnitude and you’re going to want to make sure that you include this this object there, because of course the asteroids aren’t gonna be plotted on your on your charts that you might have at home.

00:31:27.330 –> 00:31:28.530
Shane Ludtke: yeah good advice.

00:31:29.820 –> 00:31:31.650
Chris Beckett: Right, so we move along to iris.

00:31:32.220 –> 00:31:33.150
Shane Ludtke: let’s do it.

00:31:34.020 –> 00:31:42.780
Chris Beckett: iris is going to be at opposition on January 3 and, of course, opposition is when an object in our solar system is opposite.

00:31:43.320 –> 00:31:53.640
Chris Beckett: And the sun in earth’s night sky so it’s sort of where we’re at books we’re looking at stuff in space it’s from our perspective that’s creating this and.

00:31:54.060 –> 00:32:06.840
Chris Beckett: On January 3 iris is going to be at 97.6 or seven and a half and it’s the fourth largest object in the asteroid belt I think it’s only built like 270 odd kilometers across.

00:32:07.530 –> 00:32:18.750
Chris Beckett: At its widest and it varies quite a bit has an orbit of 3.7 years, but the distance from the sun varies between 1.8 and a boat three astronomical units so.

00:32:19.530 –> 00:32:30.000
Chris Beckett: big difference there and it’s also an s type after a meeting it’s a stony mix of nickel iron metals and magnesium and iron subjects so.

00:32:31.260 –> 00:32:34.590
Chris Beckett: What are your thoughts on on this object for making some observation shane.

00:32:35.010 –> 00:32:43.620
Shane Ludtke: Well it’s kind of neat, not only is it the fourth largest object in the asteroid belt, but it’s the fourth brightest and i’m not too sure that those things line up so that’s kind of cool.

00:32:46.260 –> 00:33:04.140
Chris Beckett: yeah that’s pretty neat it was discovered, on Friday, the 13th in August of 1847 I had to look this up, because I saw that was discovered on on August 13 and I was like it’d be funny if it was a Friday, and I did look it up, and it was actually discovered, on Friday, the 13th.

00:33:05.400 –> 00:33:17.280
Chris Beckett: In 1847 by jr and of course famous scene hinders is his variable nebula for those for those that are that are into variable nebula observations which has been pretty famous.

00:33:18.060 –> 00:33:33.630
Chris Beckett: You know, recently, for a lot of people online taking photos and they can see the change in the variability of that nebula but his asteroid or discovery here was made at london’s George Bishop Observatory using a seven inch tall and refractor that’s pretty cool.

00:33:33.870 –> 00:33:36.810
Shane Ludtke: That is cool yeah I would love to look through one of those.

00:33:38.700 –> 00:33:51.780
Chris Beckett: yeah I don’t think that that that Observatory went to went out of business, if you can call it a business after bishops death, so I think he moved on to two other locations i’m going to read that glasses now to that.

00:33:51.810 –> 00:33:55.140
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah That would be a neat project to find that oh.

00:33:57.090 –> 00:34:01.680
Chris Beckett: yeah iris is named after the Greek goddess of rainbows i’m not sure why.

00:34:03.780 –> 00:34:05.670
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah that’s interesting.

00:34:05.670 –> 00:34:06.630
I like rainbows.

00:34:07.650 –> 00:34:08.730
Chris Beckett: i’m a big rainbow fan.

00:34:09.720 –> 00:34:11.250
Shane Ludtke: Who doesn’t like them right.

00:34:11.670 –> 00:34:12.720
Beautiful color yeah.

00:34:13.800 –> 00:34:25.620
Chris Beckett: rainbows and unicorns that’s what it’s all about so so this object is sitting on the Western side of the constellation cancer so as we’re looking at these objects, you can see that.

00:34:26.370 –> 00:34:41.550
Chris Beckett: series is on the Western side of the heidi’s and then our next it was 44 nice say and it’s on the eastern side of the heidi’s and then we have this is sort of like a couple constellations over.

00:34:42.030 –> 00:34:48.870
Chris Beckett: getting into the Western side of cancer and again, because this is just going to be seven and half magnitude.

00:34:49.200 –> 00:34:57.990
Chris Beckett: You can see it in binoculars and small telescopes you’re going to want to go to to a website, like in the or look it up in your planetarium software.

00:34:58.200 –> 00:35:05.820
Chris Beckett: and to be able to generate that chart and then like shane was saying, if you are looking at it through an instrument, you want to make sure that you flip it around and correctly oriented.

00:35:06.420 –> 00:35:19.530
Chris Beckett: to your to your instrument you’re looking at it, of course, just with your binoculars you won’t have to do that, though, so a good pair of seven by 1510 by 58 by 40 something like that will be enough to see this this asteroid.

00:35:20.760 –> 00:35:21.660
Shane Ludtke: yeah for sure.

00:35:22.920 –> 00:35:26.460
Chris Beckett: sounds good, so we move on to 20 musalia.

00:35:26.940 –> 00:35:27.600
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah.

00:35:28.680 –> 00:35:38.400
Chris Beckett: And the salvia is going to be an opposition on February 5 and so it’s going to be magnitude eight and a half, so not quite as faint is.

00:35:38.850 –> 00:35:44.040
Chris Beckett: Our faintest one but definitely something that you’re going to want to be able to.

00:35:44.460 –> 00:35:59.850
Chris Beckett: use that charting software to create a pretty good chart for locating so the interesting part about them Sally is that it’s the parent of themself a class of S type stony asteroids, of which there is over 6000.

00:36:01.410 –> 00:36:02.430
Shane Ludtke: whoa that’s a lot.

00:36:03.030 –> 00:36:12.330
Chris Beckett: yeah which may be wondering, maybe you have a meteorite that that was that was born in the medallia family of asteroids because certainly there’s lots of them out there.

00:36:12.690 –> 00:36:18.840
Shane Ludtke: stony type yeah I don’t know if I have any of those I would have to go check the collection, I don’t think I do.

00:36:18.900 –> 00:36:23.310
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah it would be cool though stony paper asteroids.

00:36:24.000 –> 00:36:31.920
Chris Beckett: So, this one is 145 kilometers in diameter ranges between about 2.1 and 2.8 astronomical units and it takes just.

00:36:32.250 –> 00:36:40.380
Chris Beckett: Just under four years to orbit the sun and it reaches eat half magnitude on February 5 so a little while from now, but.

00:36:41.010 –> 00:36:43.860
Chris Beckett: The thing is that, after you’ve seen these first three.

00:36:44.430 –> 00:36:59.880
Chris Beckett: that’ll be good training ground so then you’ll you’ll you’ll have the skills, you need, especially after observing series and an iris you’ll really have the skills that you need to be able to to observe asteroids that are Brighton intense 92 whenever you want.

00:37:01.230 –> 00:37:02.610
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah, which is quite an.

00:37:03.780 –> 00:37:08.400
Chris Beckett: accomplishment so this one was discovered by astronomer.

00:37:09.600 –> 00:37:22.110
Chris Beckett: And bell the guest barris I don’t know if i’m saying that right on 19th of September in 1952 but using the 17.5 centimeter Fraunhofer which.

00:37:22.350 –> 00:37:23.910
Chris Beckett: would be a beautiful instrument.

00:37:24.780 –> 00:37:29.250
Chris Beckett: Just under seven inches so it was named after the city of Merseyside.

00:37:30.750 –> 00:37:31.470
Chris Beckett: From which.

00:37:32.010 –> 00:37:42.060
Chris Beckett: yeah, and so the reason for that is there was another observer gene cranach who observed it the following night using the ED centimeter focal or Foucault.

00:37:42.780 –> 00:37:46.140
Chris Beckett: telescope I should get that right, actually, I went and saw some of footballs.

00:37:46.980 –> 00:37:54.600
Chris Beckett: scientific instruments when when I was in when I was in France, so, and this one sitting over just on the other side on the eastern side.

00:37:54.990 –> 00:38:06.150
Chris Beckett: of cancer, so you need to be able to generate a chart just going to be sitting about about halfway between rigell and and the Center.

00:38:06.900 –> 00:38:22.920
Chris Beckett: of cancer like em 44 kind of areas so that’s kind of the general area of sky this this asteroid sits in but you should be able to hunt it up with by by using your planetarium software, using the techniques that we described to you in this episode.

00:38:23.520 –> 00:38:33.690
Shane Ludtke: yeah and another kind of interesting point about musalia is that it’s the first object in the solar system that was not assigned a mythological name.

00:38:35.400 –> 00:38:35.970
Chris Beckett: Oh, really.

00:38:36.180 –> 00:38:40.440
Chris Beckett: yeah hmm that’s pretty cool because it’s named after my side yeah.

00:38:40.470 –> 00:38:51.000
Chris Beckett: Exactly excellent well that’s really neat well anything to add on this or any of the other asteroids or minor planets that we talked about and discuss how to observe during this episode.

00:38:51.870 –> 00:39:00.930
Shane Ludtke: No, not really there, maybe one other point I guess I could mention is we talked about sketching these things as a way to record your observation.

00:39:01.500 –> 00:39:10.410
Shane Ludtke: These are also pretty I would say, somewhat easy to photograph as well, because you don’t really need to do any long exposures here so that would be another way to.

00:39:10.440 –> 00:39:12.360
Chris Beckett: review them, and whether or not you’ve observed it.

00:39:12.720 –> 00:39:22.710
Shane Ludtke: is to take a photograph and then the next day take another photograph of the same field and see if anything’s moved and that can help prove your observation.

00:39:23.580 –> 00:39:39.630
Shane Ludtke: An interesting thing might be and I don’t know what this would look like, but if you put your camera on just a fixed tripod no tracking and you know pointed it at the rate star field and then just held that shutter open for quite a while.

00:39:40.650 –> 00:39:51.030
Shane Ludtke: You might be able to pick up some of the movement now what you’re going to end up with is a bunch of star trails you know but they’ll they will all be going in a very uniform.

00:39:52.440 –> 00:40:00.510
Shane Ludtke: path, and you know eventually create just this you know giant circle or part of a circle being you’re not aimed at polaris.

00:40:01.350 –> 00:40:13.140
Shane Ludtke: But the asteroid would likely be kind of going off in a different direction, and you might be able to capture the movement doing that so for any of the astro photographers out there i’d be kind of curious.

00:40:13.830 –> 00:40:18.300
Shane Ludtke: To see if you could pull that off, and if you do send it to us i’d love to see it.

00:40:20.160 –> 00:40:31.770
Chris Beckett: yeah very good, well with that will conclude our episode that just one more thing is that we are giving away a couple of copies of the Royal astronomical society of Canada as observers calendar have.

00:40:32.220 –> 00:40:40.080
Chris Beckett: Two copies to give away to people that write in and provide us with some observations of really anything that they’ve seen recently.

00:40:40.350 –> 00:40:50.280
Chris Beckett: In the nighttime sky and just let us know that you want to be in the draft the calendar need to get those before the seventh of December so that I can try to get those mailed out.

00:40:50.790 –> 00:40:57.150
Chris Beckett: before the holidays people had them really in the new year, the calendar is is sort of primarily written.

00:40:57.510 –> 00:41:08.040
Chris Beckett: By him for Canadians, however, everything in there works pretty good for North America and for the rest of world, for example, we list like 15 or 20 asteroid opposition’s in there amongst.

00:41:08.460 –> 00:41:15.540
Chris Beckett: All the other day to day astronomical events like lunar phases and planetary opposition’s meteor showers and that sort of thing.

00:41:16.350 –> 00:41:26.640
Shane Ludtke: So let’s for recording purposes let’s say people have until December 5 to get in their observations, if they want to be entered and then we’ll announce the winner on December 6.

00:41:28.140 –> 00:41:43.920
Chris Beckett: yeah that sounds great so thanks again, and thanks everyone for listening and be sure to subscribe in your pod catcher software and we’re always excited to get listener feedback or entries for observers calendar giveaway to actual astronomy at Thank you.

365 Days of Astronomy

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After 10 years, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is entering its second decade of sharing important milestone in space exploration and astronomy discoveries. Join us and share your story. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!