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RE: Pallas
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This week, the huge asteroid Pallas reaches opposition, being opposite to the sun in Earth's sky, making it a prime target for avid skywatchers with telescopes.
To spot Pallas tonight, look for the brightest star, called either Alphecca or Gemma, in Corona Borealis.
Pallas is an 8th magnitude object just south of this star.

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Asteroid Pallas at opposition on the 14th May, 2010.

Magnitude 8.6

Ephemeris
Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase     V

2010 04 21 15 44.98 +21 51.7 1.947 2.767 136.8 14.4 8.6
2010 04 26 15 41.53 +22 56.2 1.951 2.779 137.7 14.1 8.6
2010 05 01 15 37.72 +23 53.2 1.959 2.791 138.0 14.0 8.7
2010 05 06 15 33.67 +24 41.7 1.974 2.802 137.6 14.0 8.7
2010 05 11 15 29.47 +25 21.3 1.993 2.814 136.6 14.3 8.7
2010 05 16 15 25.25 +25 51.5 2.018 2.826 135.1 14.6 8.8
2010 05 21 15 21.14 +26 12.3 2.047 2.838 133.2 15.1 8.8
2010 05 26 15 17.24 +26 23.8 2.082 2.849 130.9 15.6 8.9
2010 05 31 15 13.64 +26 26.5 2.120 2.861 128.2 16.2 9.0


-- Edited by Blobrana on Friday 30th of April 2010 01:52:30 PM

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The magnitude 8.7 asteroid (2) Pallas will occult a magnitude 11.6 star in the constellation Serpens, at 20:39 UT, 9th April, 2010.
The 33.1 second event is visible from India, Russia, and Europe.

Position (2000): RA 15 50 56.6885, Dec +19 06 00.285

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The magnitude 8.7 asteroid (2) Pallas will occult the magnitude 9.3 star HD 142226 in the constellation Serpens, at 04:24 UT, 4th April, 2010.
The 32.6 second event is only visible from the Pacific Ocean.

Position (2000): RA 15 52 52.3195, Dec +17 33 26.027

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The Hubble telescope has provided new insight on 2 Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System.
The nearly 600km-wide rock is an example of an object that started out on the process of becoming a planet but never grew up into the real thing.
Researchers have published a 3D model of the grapefruit-shaped mini-world in Science magazine.


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Britney E. Schmidt, a UCLA doctoral student in the department of Earth and space sciences, wasn't sure what she'd glean from images of the asteroid Pallas taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. But she hoped to settle at least one burning question: Was Pallas, the second-largest asteroid, actually in that grey area between an asteroid and a small planet?
The answer, she found, was yes. Pallas, like its sister asteroids Ceres and Vesta, was that rare thing: an intact protoplanet.

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Images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the asteroid Pallas should be grouped along with two other big space rocks as protoplanets - "planetary embryos" that were big enough to stay pretty much as they were during the formation of the solar system, but too small to progress to the next stage of development.
Source

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Astronomers examining one of the solar system's largest asteroids with the Hubble Space Telescope have dubbed it a "protoplanet."
Pallas, an asteroid 265 kilometres in diameter and located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, joins two other asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, which are also considered protoplanets.

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On the 12th September, 2009, the asteroid Pallas will be at opposition.
The asteroid will brighten to magnitude 8.6 in constellation Leo.

Ephemeris
Date       UT      R.A. (J2000) Decl.    Delta     r     El.    Ph.   V  
h m s
2009 09 01 000000 10 58 13.8 +03 27 07 3.242 2.243 6.5 2.9 8.8
2009 09 02 000000 11 00 12.4 +03 22 55 3.245 2.244 6.1 2.7 8.7
2009 09 03 000000 11 02 10.7 +03 18 41 3.248 2.246 5.6 2.5 8.7
2009 09 04 000000 11 04 09.0 +03 14 26 3.250 2.248 5.1 2.3 8.7
2009 09 05 000000 11 06 07.1 +03 10 09 3.253 2.249 4.6 2.1 8.7
2009 09 06 000000 11 08 05.0 +03 05 50 3.255 2.251 4.1 1.8 8.7
2009 09 07 000000 11 10 02.8 +03 01 30 3.258 2.253 3.6 1.6 8.7
2009 09 08 000000 11 12 00.5 +02 57 09 3.260 2.255 3.2 1.4 8.7
2009 09 09 000000 11 13 58.1 +02 52 46 3.262 2.256 2.7 1.2 8.6
2009 09 10 000000 11 15 55.5 +02 48 22 3.264 2.258 2.3 1.0 8.6
2009 09 11 000000 11 17 52.8 +02 43 57 3.266 2.260 1.9 0.9 8.6
2009 09 12 000000 11 19 49.9 +02 39 31 3.267 2.261 1.6 0.7 8.6
2009 09 13 000000 11 21 46.9 +02 35 04 3.269 2.263 1.4 0.6 8.6
2009 09 14 000000 11 23 43.8 +02 30 36 3.271 2.265 1.4 0.6 8.6
2009 09 15 000000 11 25 40.5 +02 26 08 3.272 2.267 1.5 0.7 8.6
2009 09 16 000000 11 27 37.1 +02 21 39 3.273 2.269 1.8 0.8 8.6
2009 09 17 000000 11 29 33.6 +02 17 09 3.275 2.270 2.2 1.0 8.6
2009 09 18 000000 11 31 30.0 +02 12 39 3.276 2.272 2.6 1.2 8.7
2009 09 19 000000 11 33 26.2 +02 08 08 3.277 2.274 3.1 1.4 8.7
2009 09 20 000000 11 35 22.3 +02 03 38 3.277 2.276 3.6 1.6 8.7
2009 09 21 000000 11 37 18.2 +01 59 07 3.278 2.278 4.0 1.8 8.7
2009 09 22 000000 11 39 14.0 +01 54 36 3.279 2.280 4.5 2.0 8.7
2009 09 23 000000 11 41 09.7 +01 50 05 3.279 2.281 5.0 2.2 8.8
2009 09 24 000000 11 43 05.2 +01 45 35 3.280 2.283 5.5 2.4 8.8
2009 09 25 000000 11 45 00.6 +01 41 04 3.280 2.285 6.0 2.6 8.8
2009 09 26 000000 11 46 55.8 +01 36 35 3.280 2.287 6.6 2.9 8.8
2009 09 27 000000 11 48 50.9 +01 32 05 3.280 2.289 7.1 3.1 8.8
2009 09 28 000000 11 50 45.8 +01 27 36 3.280 2.291 7.6 3.3 8.9
2009 09 29 000000 11 52 40.7 +01 23 08 3.280 2.293 8.1 3.5 8.9
2009 09 30 000000 11 54 35.3 +01 18 41 3.280 2.295 8.6 3.8 8.9


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Images of Pallas from the Hubble Space Telescope
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Credit: from Britney Schmidt's presentation to the 2008 DPS meeting

Images of Pallas from the Hubble Space Telescope
These two sets of images were taken through different filters on the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2: an ultraviolet filter (top) and blue filter (bottom). They cover most of a rotation of Pallas, and reveal that it has an irregular shape and probably has some patchy albedo variations. In these images, we are looking at the southern hemisphere of Pallas, with the images centered at about 30 degrees south.

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