© NASA/Galileo 1993. Pictured asteroid is 243 Ida.

Asteroid 194 Prokne at opposition

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Asteroids feed

Objects: 194 Prokne
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

Asteroid 194 Prokne will be well placed, lying in the constellation Aquarius, well above the horizon for much of the night.

Regardless of your location on the Earth, 194 Prokne will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight local time.

From Fairfield, it will be visible between 21:32 and 04:18. It will become accessible around 21:32, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above your south-eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 00:55, 40° above your southern horizon. It will become inaccessible around 04:18 when it sinks below 22° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The geometry of the alignment

This optimal positioning occurs when it makes its closest approach to the point in the sky directly opposite to the Sun – an event termed opposition. Since the Sun reaches its greatest distance below the horizon at midnight, the point opposite to it is highest in the sky at the same time.

At around the same time that 194 Prokne passes opposition, it also makes its closest approach to the Earth – termed its perigee – making it appear at its brightest in the night sky. This happens because when 194 Prokne lies opposite to the Sun in the night sky, the solar system is lined up so that 194 Prokne, the Earth and the Sun lie in a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as 194 Prokne.

On this occasion, 194 Prokne will pass within 1.012 AU of us, reaching a peak brightness of magnitude 9.5. Nonetheless, even at its brightest, 194 Prokne is a faint object beyond the reach of the naked eye; binoculars or a telescope of moderate aperture are needed.

Finding 194 Prokne

The chart below indicates the path of 194 Prokne across the sky around the time of opposition.

It was produced using StarCharter and is available for download, either on dark background, in PNG, PDF or SVG formats, or on a light background, in PNG, PDF or SVG formats.

The position of 194 Prokne at the moment of opposition will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Asteroid 194 Prokne 22h56m40s 8°23'S Aquarius 9.5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 04 September 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


1 day old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:50 11:42 18:33
Venus 08:29 14:25 20:21
Moon 07:44 13:59 20:07
Mars 00:25 07:58 15:30
Jupiter 23:44 07:11 14:39
Saturn 19:33 01:09 06:45
All times shown in EDT.


The circumstances of this event were computed from orbital elements made available by Ted Bowell of the Lowell Observatory. The conversion to geocentric coordinates was performed using the position of the Earth recorded in the DE430 ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The star chart above shows the positions and magnitudes of stars as they appear in the Tycho catalogue. The data was reduced by the author and plotted using PyXPlot. A gnomonic projection of the sky has been used; celestial coordinates are indicated in the J2000.0 coordinate system.

Image credit

© NASA/Galileo 1993. Pictured asteroid is 243 Ida.






Color scheme