The giant asteroid dubbed as 4 Vesta is so close to Earth this period that you can see it with the naked eye. The asteroid is visible right next to Mars and Saturn in the night sky, in the northwest of the Sagittarius constellation for the northern hemisphere, while for the southern hemisphere it will be visible in the southwest of the same constellation.
The 4 Vesta asteroid is more than 326 miles in size, which means is about 50 times larger than the Chicxulub asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, and will remain visible in the night sky until July 16th. As we speak, this monster is only 106 million miles away from the Earth.
This giant space rock was discovered in 1807 and was named after the goddess Vests, the sister of Ceres who gave the name for the most massive asteroid in the Asteroid Belt, commonly dubbed as the dwarf planet of our solar system.
4 Vesta asteroid is more reflective than the Moon which makes it visible with the naked eye now when it’s so close to Earth
Thanks to is composition, this gigantic space rock is more reflective than the Moon, and that’s why, as it is orbiting so close to Earth, is visible with the naked eye in the night sky.
On the other hand, when compared with are big space rocks residing the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, 4Vesta asteroid is very straightforward to identify and observe.
Because of all these factors, this big space rock is appearing as a pale yellowish dot in the night sky, and, now, as it is at only 106 million miles away from Earth, 4 Vesta asteroid is visible with the naked eye.
The space rock’s surface is showing numerous signs of collisions with other smaller space rocks, and scientists believe that these craters formed after impacts that took place in Vesta’s early days.
Also very interesting, 4 Vesta asteroid present a 13-mile high mountain formation on its surface, almost as high as the renowned Olympus Mons of Mars.