Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Dwarf Planets feed
136108 Haumea will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.
At closest approach, 136108 Haumea will appear at a separation of only 27° from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.
At around the same time, 136108 Haumea will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 51.34 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.
If 136108 Haumea could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 0.0 arcsec in diameter.
Over following weeks and months, 136108 Haumea will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. After around six months, it will reach opposition, when it will be visible for virtually the whole night. A chart of the path of 136108 Haumea across the sky in 2018 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.
The position of 136108 Haumea at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
|The sky on 18 October 2018|
9 days old
All times shown in EDT.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.
|14 Apr 2018||– 136108 Haumea at opposition|
|15 Apr 2019||– 136108 Haumea at opposition|
|16 Apr 2020||– 136108 Haumea at opposition|
|17 Apr 2021||– 136108 Haumea at opposition|
© Mike Brown et al., CalTech and Keck Observatory