By: Matthew Wheeler

Valley stargazers have been putting in extra time recently, due to a spectacular full moon last week, followed by a historic flyby of Pluto, and a conjunction visible from Dunster and McBride. Keen astronomer Matthew Wheeler explains the picture below: “Two photos of the asteroid Vesta and minor planet Ceres, taken 24 minutes apart, and superimposed. The motion of both asteroids around the sun is visible as double images, while the stars remain fixed. This is similar to the way Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930 when he viewed pairs of photos he had taken on different nights, and found the object that moved: Pluto. This week, humanity is getting its closest look ever of that point of light. Also this summer, the Dawn spacecraft is making history as it closes in on Ceres, having passed Vesta last year. It has revealed mysterious bright spots on Ceres. Keep watching to find out what they are!”