Uranus

Want to see it? Do you have clear skies and a pair of binoculars any evening in the next week or so?

I went out and saw it tonight. The next few nights probably will be cloudy here in SoCal, but you might get luckier.

An hour or so after sunset, go outside and look to the west. You’ll easily see Venus, it’s the brightest thing in the sky except for the Sun, Moon, and sometimes the ISS. It’s so bright that you can literally read a newspaper by it.

Raise the binoculars and put Venus on the far right side of the field of view.

(Image from Star Walk app)

Look at this image from the Star Walk app. We’re zoomed in here and the objects’ positions are similar to what I saw through binoculars. Their size is ***NOT***. The app is showing icons for the planets. They’ll both appear as pinpoints. Venus will be really, REALLY bright. Uranus will be about as bright as the other stars shown. Let’s look at the patterns and locations and positions relative to each other – it’s a map app, not photo realistic.

Got it?

Annotated image – this is your cheat sheet. (Remember, pinpoints, not icons!)

Okay, so through my slightly hazy & seriously light polluted sky I saw Venus on the right, three stars in a triangle (labeled 1 to 3 in the annotated image), and if I moved over to the left just a bit there were two slightly brighter stars (labeled A & B).

Got it?

  1. Venus on the right
  2. Triangle of much dimmer stars to the left (Uranus is the one on the upper left of the triangle)
  3. To make sure, just look a bit to the left and you’ll see two brighter stars

Uranus and Venus are moving a bit each night. They’ll be the closest tomorrow night, but they’ll be close for days and days.

Got binoculars? Got clear skies? Go see Uranus.

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Filed under Astronomy, Space

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