Toward the end of September, the sun will turn a spotlight on the asteroid Juno, giving that bulky lump of rock a rare featured cameo in the night sky. Those who get out to a dark, unpolluted sky will be able to spot the asteroid's silvery glint near the planet Uranus with a pair of binoculars. "It can usually be seen by a good amateur telescope, but the guy on the street doesn't usually get a chance to observe it," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "This is going to be as bright as it gets until 2018." Juno, one of the first asteroids discovered, is thought to be the parent of many of the meteorites that rain on Earth. The asteroid is composed mostly of hardy silicate rock, which is tough enough that fragments broken off by collisions can often survive a trip through Earth's atmosphere.
Read Entire Article