With Vesta being the “topic du jour” recently, backyard astronomers may want to view the asteroid in their telescopes.
Currently you can spot Vesta low in the South-Eastern part of the sky, during late evenings (North America). For optimal results you may want to attempt a viewing after midnight this weekend. At around magnitude 5, Vesta is on the dim end of naked-eye visibility. With good eyesight and a dark site, you might spot the unusually bright asteroid.
The easiest way to attempt to view Vesta visually is to start with a good pair of binoculars and look at the constellation Capricornus. You’ll want to be well away from any sources of light pollution and I’d suggest a 6″ or larger reflector, although smaller telescopes will work decently. If you are viewing around 1 AM, you can turn your telescope to the East and catch Jupiter’s return to the night skies. One other visible treat, to the North-East and high in the sky is M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy.