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Asteroid Eros visible end of January


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On the 31st January 2012 Asteroid Eros will be visible in the constellation Sextans, it will shine with the magnitude 8.8 so visible in almost every scope. It is about 16.6 million miles away, which is about 70 times the distance to the moon.

Some quick facts about 433 Eros:

  • Eros is the first near-Earth asteroid that we've discovered. It was discovered by Carl Witt on August 13. 1898.
  • The asteroid is named after the Greek god of Love, Eros.
  • Eros is a Type-S asteroid, meaning it consists of stony composition. About 17% of discovered asteroids are of Type-S, which is the second most common type after Type-C(about 75%).
  • The temperature on Eros varies from -150 Celsius to 100 Celsius.
  • Eros is not round, but instead has a strange peanut like shape, which rotates every 5.27 hours.
  • Eros' dimension is 34.4 x 11.2 x 11.2 kilometers, making it the second largest near-Earth asteroid after 1036 Ganymed.
  • Eros orbits mostly between the Earth and Mars about 172,800,000 kilometers away from the Sun.
  • Eros has been visited by a spacecraft called NEAR-Shoemaker. NEAR-Shoemaker launched February 17. 1996 and was placed in orbit around Eros on February 13. 2000. The spacecraft landed on Eros February 12. 2001 and shut down February 28. 2001. NEAR-Shoemaker was the first spacecraft ever to land on an asteroid.

I wish you every success in viewing this and if you are successful please tell us about it.

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Sounds exciting. I'll certainly try and find it.

Will it appear as a slowly moving light against the background stars?

I guess it's too small and far away to be able to make out it's elongated shape?

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