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Mars and Uranus will be close from Feb 11 to 14

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#1 aeajr

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 08:58 AM

If you would like to find Uranus, this is a good opportunity as Mars and Uranus will be within 1 degree from Feb 11 to the 13th.   Best time would be before 9 pm so they are high enough in the sky. 

 

Looking at my notes, I had to get it over 100X before it didn't look like a star.  At 266X it was a small blue ball in my 8" Dob.  But I would expect you could see the blue ball in a 70 mm telescope if conditions will let you get it over 100X. 

 

Happy planet hunting!   Love to hear success stories.

 

If you need help, ask.

 


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#2 Neptune

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for that update.  I have always liked searching for that somewhat elusive greenish disk. (long before GOTO mounts where available). For me there is something mesmerizing about that small round disk in the eyepiece. Maybe it's the fact it is so far away yet with a telescope and some magnification you can actually see it as a small disk instead of a barely visible spec in the sky.


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#3 vdog

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:34 AM

I love Uranus, and its orbit is so slow that it stays in pretty much the same place, making it easy to find again once you know where it is.

 

I would not recommend it for outreach, though.  I showed it to a couple of younger folks who were over to visit.  They were polite, but I could tell they weren't impressed.  


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#4 sickfish

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:49 AM

OK I might break out the C8.

Thanks Ed.


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#5 quantumpion

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 05:13 PM

I was checking it out last night in my CPC800 with a 12 mm eyepiece. Unless it was my imagination I'm pretty sure I could make out the rings...or maybe the moons? Hard to tell since it was so small. Still pretty neat.


Edited by quantumpion, 05 February 2019 - 05:23 PM.

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#6 aeajr

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 06:30 PM

I don't know how visible the moons might be.   I doubt you could see the rings.  They weren't even known until 1977.

https://en.wikipedia...Rings_of_Uranus



#7 RyanSem

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 06:39 PM

They'll be in the same FOV for some low power lenses... I wonder when the next time that will happen is? (Is there any way to figure that out?)


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#8 Codbear

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 08:50 PM

Thanks for the heads up Ed!

 

Mars was a great guide to Neptune in early December a couple of months ago...it did such a great job it will now be the guide to find Uranus.

 

We've had so much rain and cloud cover here in Northern California I've had one clear night this year to observe. I am not sanguine about the possibility of seeing the Lunar X or this conjunction next week since rain/clouds are forecast for the next 10 days...but there is always hope!


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#9 Astroman007

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:42 PM

If you would like to find Uranus, this is a good opportunity as Mars and Uranus will be within 1 degree from Feb 11 to the 13th.   Best time would be before 9 pm so they are high enough in the sky. 

 

Looking at my notes, I had to get it over 100X before it didn't look like a star.  At 266X it was a small blue ball in my 8" Dob.  But I would expect you could see the blue ball in a 70 mm telescope if conditions will let you get it over 100X. 

 

Happy planet hunting!   Love to hear success stories.

 

If you need help, ask.

I will be using my binoculars of course, so Uranus will resemble a star.

 

I will still try for it nonetheless. Just need to look for a bluish "star" in the correct spot!

 

This would be something to look forward to, as I don't think I have ever laid eyes upon Uranus before.


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#10 aeajr

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:55 PM

This is the star field on 2-12-19 with the squares being 1 degree.  I believe I have the stars limited to Mag 9.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Mars and Uranus Star field on 2-12-19 - Squares are 1 degree.PNG

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#11 BFaucett

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:26 PM

I will be using my binoculars of course, so Uranus will resemble a star.

 

I will still try for it nonetheless. Just need to look for a bluish "star" in the correct spot!

 

This would be something to look forward to, as I don't think I have ever laid eyes upon Uranus before.

 

I first saw it a few years ago in my Nikon 10x50 AE binos.  It looked slightly greenish to me but it was starting to get low towards the western horizon. (And who knows about my color vision and perception.)  I grabbed my C80ED scope and could make out a small disk.  I forget what power I was using.  And, I'm located 15 miles west of downtown Houston so I have plenty of light pollution to deal with.  It's definitely doable with appropriate binos. Good luck!  waytogo.gif

 

Clear skies and remember to keep looking up!
Cheers!  Bob F.  smile.gif
Telescope.gif  sct.png


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#12 Illinois

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:47 AM

Thank you, Ed! Hope clear night!
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#13 tchandler

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:27 AM

Mars is dropping in on his great-grandfather. Have you read their family history? Let’s just say the planetary pairing will be prettier! 

 

On February 10th the Moon zips in, like a teen eager to be anywhere but there. On this date, if you extend a line from Mars through the crescent moon (about half the apparent Mars-Moon separation) you will come the Alpha Piscium (Al Rischa). If your telescope reveals a planetary disk, you might be able to split this challenging double. 

 

Alpha Psc Mags.: 4.3 and 5.2 sep. about 1.8”. A couple of solar systems will fit end to end between the stars.

 

Good luck.


Edited by tchandler, 06 February 2019 - 08:29 AM.

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#14 aeajr

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 09:13 AM

I have seen Uranus with my 15X70s from a Bortel 8 location.   It appears to be a star, not a planet and I don't recall any color in the Binoculars. 


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#15 RyanSem

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 09:23 AM

I've had to get up to around 50x to see any color. The first time I ever found it using a star chart was obvious though, it was noticeably green. However, looking at it this past weekend I couldn't make out any color at all. 


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#16 CappyLovesMittens

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:53 AM

A bit more than a month ago I was able to navigate to Uranus from the moon using 10x50 binocs in my Bortles 7 skies. It was a dim, greenish-blue star. I was then able to resolve it into a tiny disc at 130x in my Onesky 130.


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#17 ascii

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:18 AM

I wonder how much the very large white cloud cap over the pole of Uranus will affect our ability to see color in the eyepiece view of modest aperture scopes.  With a 3.5 arcsec diameter, I won't get much detail in my 100 mm scope.

 

See the first photo in this article from S&T.

 

https://www.skyandte...hts-ice-giants/

 

My hopes of observing are pretty tenuous based on the cloud forecast.  I may get a chance on the10th.  That date has the only somewhat favorable forecast, and Uranus and Mars will both be placed within my widest FOV.


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#18 aeajr

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:38 AM

You don't really need Mars in the FOV. It is just a visual guidepost to help find Mars.

 

Edit:  Sorry that is supposed to say to help find Uranus.



#19 ascii

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 11:06 AM

You don't really need Mars in the FOV. It is just a visual guidepost to help find Mars.

True, but since I do not use, or even have GoTo, I need something to star-hop (planet-hop) from to find it.  Pisces is a very dim constellation in my light polluted skies, so I need something to even get me in the neighborhood.  For both Uranus and Neptune, I tend to use the Moon or Mars.  Those two move quickly through the ecliptic (the Moon more so than Mars) allowing them to pass the ice giants with some frequency.

 

There may be some more clear sky opportunities later in the month with longer hops from Mars, but it gets more difficult.


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#20 davidmcgo

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 12:03 PM

I wonder how much the very large white cloud cap over the pole of Uranus will affect our ability to see color in the eyepiece view of modest aperture scopes.  With a 3.5 arcsec diameter, I won't get much detail in my 100 mm scope.

 

See the first photo in this article from S&T.

 

https://www.skyandte...hts-ice-giants/

 

My hopes of observing are pretty tenuous based on the cloud forecast.  I may get a chance on the10th.  That date has the only somewhat favorable forecast, and Uranus and Mars will both be placed within my widest FOV.

Wow, cool!  I looked at it last night in my little Questar 3.5 and was confused that it was more white than aqua in hue.  Hadn't seen this image yet.

 

Dave


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#21 tchandler

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 01:12 PM

Uranus has an unmistakable bluish coloration in my 6” APM refractor. 

 

To give you a head’s up on your ability to see the planet’s disk, try observing the nearby double star Gamma Arietis, which is relatively easy to locate near the bright Alpha and Beta Arietis. Gamma Ari consists of two 4th mag stars separated by 7.4”. Uranus is almost exactly 1/2 this apparent size. 


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#22 RAKing

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:15 AM

Uranus is one of my favorites and I got to see it a few times last week with my little FC-100.  It looked best at about 150x and was its usual pale blue self.

 

Thanks for the head’s up, Ed.  I don’t normally spend a lot of time with Mars, but will give both of these a look next week.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#23 Miranda2525

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 03:32 AM

You don't really need Mars in the FOV. It is just a visual guidepost to help find Mars.

Actually, Mars is easier to find than Uranus. I think Mars would be the  guidepost to help find Uranus!

 

Thanks for the heads up on this Ed!  They are indeed very close to each other!


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#24 Astroman007

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 03:57 AM

If tonight is clear...fingerscrossed.gif


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#25 MrPeanut

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 01:46 PM

Ah, the joy of seeing the white area at the pole a decade ago, when my eyes were sharper.


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