David's Astronomy Pages (Solar System)
This page summarises observations and images of asteroids.
Asteroids Near Earth Asteroids Page For a listing of all Asteroid Images see Image Database - Asteroids
Visually there is nothing to distinguish an asteroid from a dim star, it is only its movement against the background of stars that gives its presence away. Thus spotting an asteroid requires drawing or photographing the starfield containing the asteroid and then returning either several hours or days later (depending on how fast Asteroid is moving across the celestrial sky) and determining which object which has moved.
Up until 1999-Dec I hadn't made any strong attempt to view an asteroid. However with the aid of TheSky software I set myself the objective of making finder charts of the brightest asteroids in view from my observatory and locate and track at least 2 or 3 during year 2000.
I in fact managed to 'find' my first asteroid before the end of 1999 in a photograph that I took on 1999-Dec-06, see Asteroid 29 Amphitrite.
On 2000-Jan-03/04, I set out to image Amphitrite, Hebe, Irene and Herculina. See Asteroid and Other Images 2000-Jan-03/04 for results. From these images I have constructed Animated Gif Images showing asteroid movement.
4 Vesta (2002-01-17)
Individual Minor Planet Pages :
Minor Planet Checker
MPchecker ; http://scully.harvard.edu/~cgi/CheckMP
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