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(4) Vesta Asteroid

Vesta is an asteroid, a large rock that orbits the Sun mainly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They tend to be an irregular shaped but Ceres asteroid is known to be spherical in shape but because it doesn't clear its path round the Sun, it is only a dwarf planet. Its mass is estimated/calculated at being 259,000.

Vesta was discovered on Mar 29 1807 by Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers. Its orbit takes 3.63 years to travel round the Sun. Its takes 5.342 hours to do a full rotation period.

The absolute magnitude of the object is 3.2 which is the brightness of the object. A higher absolute magnitude means that the object is faint whereas a very low number means it is very bright.

The albedo of the object is 1. The Albedo is the amount of radiation that is reflected back into space by the object.

The Aphelion of the object is 2.571 A.U. which is the point in the orbit that is furthest from the object that it is orbit. At this point, it will then return back to the orbit target. The Perihelion of the object is 2.1526 A.U. which is the point in the orbit that is closest to the object that it is orbit around. The Longitude of Ascending Node of the object is 103.81084 degrees. The Argument of Perihelion is 150.7284. It is the angle along the orbit of a planet or other Solar System object as measured from the ascending node (analogous to right ascension and longitude) Ref:Hawaii.

The mean anomoly is 95.86200, is the angular distance of the planet from the perihelion or aphelion. Ref:Dictionary.The Semi-Major Axis of the orbit is 2.3614179, which is the furthest point from the centre to the edge of an elliptical point.

The approximate diameter of Vesta is 530 km.

The orbital inclination, the angle at which Vesta orbits in relation to the orbital plane is 7.14177 degrees. The orbital eccentricity is 0.0887214, it is the degree at which Vesta orbits close to a circular (0) orbit as opposed to an elliptical (1) orbit.

Image of Vesta

Image of Vesta.

Path of Vesta Orbit

If the white lines are above, then the path of the object is under the ecliptic. If the white lines are below, the path is above the ecliptic. This refers to the Inclination of the object. The image was created using N.A.S.A. Solar System Dynamics.

Path of Vesta Orbit

Vesta Facts

Date of DiscoveryMar 29 1807
DiscovererHeinrich Wilhelm Olbers
Orbital Period3.63
Rotation Period5.342 Hours
Absolute Magnitude3.2
Aphelion (Furthest)2.571 A.U.
Perihelion (Nearest)2.1526 A.U.
Longitude Of Ascending Node103.81084
Argument of Perihelion150.7284
Mean Anomoly 95.86200
Semi-Major Axis 2.3614179
Approx. Diameter530
Orbital Inclination7.14177
Orbital Eccentricity0.0887214

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