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(4) Vesta occults 5.3 mag star on 2020 Feb 11 in Europe

In the late evening of February 11 around 22:01 UT the minor planet (4) Vesta will occult HIP 14439 (5.3 Vmag) for a maximum duration of 28 seconds with a drop in magnitude of 3.0 mag and an approximate projected width of 522 km. UK, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland and the the Baltic states are inside the path. In the eastern European countries the target star will be very low in the western sky.

Stations with video or CCD cameras should be aware that fading of the light of the target star is possible due to the star diameter. A high frame rate is requested for recording this phenomena. Please choose the exposure carefully and avoid any saturation of the bright target star.

Observer outside the path have the great opportunity to observe a close conjunction of both objects (star 5.3 mag, asteroid 8.3 mag).

Path map for Europe:

About the map:
The path was predicted by Steve Preston, IOTA, on 2019 Dec 04. The green line is the centre line, the blue lines indicate the path limits, and the red lines the 1-sigma-limit. The occultation will occur between the two red lines with a probability of 68 %. (Map data: (c) 2020 GeoBasis-DE/BKG ((c) 2009), Google, Inst. Geogr. National)

Observers outside the path should be aware that paths shifts are common at occultations. Please observe even outside the 1-sigma-limit. Be prepared for an occultation!

Please send your observation reports to:

Good luck for your observations,

Oliver Klös
IOTA/ES, Public Relations