Uranus

Sky at Night Magazine - - OCTOBER / THE SKY GUIDE -

Best time to see: 25 Oc­to­ber, 00:55 BST (24 Oc­to­ber 23:55 UT) Al­ti­tude: 48º Lo­ca­tion: Aries Di­rec­tion: South

Uranus is at op­po­si­tion on 24 Oc­to­ber. At mag. +5.7 Uranus is the­o­ret­i­cally on the thresh­old of naked-eye vis­i­bil­ity from a dark lo­ca­tion. A full Moon joins Uranus on op­po­si­tion night, 7° east­south­east of the planet.

Binoc­u­lars show Uranus as a star-like dot while a small te­le­scope will re­veal its green colour. A mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of 100-150x shows Uranus as a disc. Be­ing so dis­tant, this planet doesn’t give up its secrets eas­ily and it takes a large te­le­scope or an imag­ing setup to stand a chance of show­ing any form of de­tail on its globe. This nor­mally takes the form of sub­tle band­ing.

From cen­tral UK, Uranus at­tains an al­ti­tude of 48°, lift­ing it above the tur­bu­lent at­mos­phere close to the horizon and af­ford­ing a good op­por­tu­nity for a sta­ble view. Cur­rently, it’s close to the V-shaped trail of stars in Pisces but tech­ni­cally it’s in Aries.

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