By Dave Fuller on 8/10/2014 8:02 PM
The minor, dwarf planets Ceres and Vesta are fascinating objects: Small, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, they are oddball objects. Vesta isn't round, as it didn't have enough mass to become spherical when it formed. Ceres did, though in an odd twist for us, Vesta is the brighter of the two. 

A few months ago, the two were in conjunction with each other from our perspective, back in early July. This month, they are further apart, but still easily found even with binoculars under moderately dark skies. At magnitude 6.8, Vesta is the easier one to pick off, while Ceres at magnitude 8.2, will be at the limit of many people's observational capabilities in most average 7x50 astronomy binoculars. But a small telescope of even 60 or 70 millimeters can amp up the light gathering enough to find both of these objects. 

So where are they in the sky? To start, look at the sky view graphic below: 

Location of Vesta and Ceres August 2014The...

The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.