Astronomical event: Asteroid 29 Amphitrite at opposition

27 Jan 2021

Are you ready to go out stargazing in February? Discover the asteroid 29 Amphitrite which is at opposition on February 22nd 2021. Read all you need to know about this asteroid and how to view it here.

Asteroids are rocky objects which are orbiting around the Sun. Although this is comparable to planets, asteroids are most often smaller than planets. Have you ever spotted an asteroid in the night sky? Take a chance this February! The Asteroid 29 Amphitrite will be at opposition on the 22nd of February 2021. 

Asteroid 29 Amphitrite

On the 1st of March in the year 1854 the asteroid 29 Amphitrite was discovered by Albert Marth. It was first spotted in the night sky near Regent’s Park in London. 29 Amphitrite got its name from George Bishop, the owner of the observatory from which the asteroid was first spotted. Its name originates from the Greek sea goddess Amphitrite. In Greek mythology Amphitrite was a sea goddess, wife of Poseidon, and queen of the sea.

29 Amphitrite is among one of the largest asteroids. It is estimated to be approximately 200 kilometers in diameter! Researchers are still unsure about the exact mass of the asteroid. A recent estimate by Baer suggests that 29 Amphitrite has a mass of 1.18×1019 kilograms..

29 Amphitrite can be found in the asteroid belt between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter. This asteroid belt contains the highest concentration of asteroid orbits. 29 Amphitrite orbits its own axis in about 5 hours and 23 minutes.

There are several factors which cause Amphirite to be less visible in the night sky than other asteroids of the same size. Firstly, 29 Amphirite’s orbit is  less eccentric and more flat than other asteroids of its size. Secondly, 29 Amphitrite is also further away from the Sun than other asteroids. Finally, the magnitude of Amphirite is around the binocular limit of +9.5. 

29 Amphitrite at opposition

A perfect opportunity has presented itself to spot the asteroid Amphirite in the night sky. Specifically, on Monday the 22nd of February 2021 where the asteroid 29 Amphitrite will be at opposition. An opposition causes the magnitude of 29 Amphitrite to be +8.6. The perfect opportunity to go out and find it in our night sky!

So what does an opposition mean? During its opposition, 29 Amphitrite will be at its closest approach to the point in the sky directly opposite the Sun, causing it to be more visible in the night sky than it usually is.

 We recommend using binoculars or a telescope to view the asteroid.

On Monday the 22nd of February 2021 29 Amphitrite will be well placed, located in the constellation Leo. Because of its position in the constellation Leo, it will be placed well above the horizon for much of the night. Regardless of your location on the Earth, 29 Amphitrite will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight local time.

Discover the astronomical event of February 2021!

Go out on the 22nd of February 2021 and locate 29 Amphitrite in the night sky! Use binoculars or a telescope to find the spectacular asteroid in our milky way. With all the tools and information ready, you are prepared for the special event of the opposition of 29 Amphitrite! Good luck finding Asteroid 29 Amphitrite in the night sky!

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