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Now is the time to view Uranus

binoculars planet star party outreach observing
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#1 teebark

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 12:07 PM

With all the hubbub about the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, it seems we're missing another good one: the Mars-Uranus conjunction, which occurred on Jan. 21. As you know, Uranus is hard to spot, as it's faint, and hard to pin down against stars in the background. But, I accidentally noticed that it's close to Mars (duh--conjunction), and it's in a field of stars that are all fainter than it.

 

So, you can't miss it, as it's easily visible in just binoculars. I saw it a couple of nights ago, even with a first quarter Moon. That also makes it a great way to introduce people to a planet that most people have never seen, in addition to revealing another extremely rare occurrence. Bonus: you don't need a telescope,  Ask a friend if they own binoculars, and take them outside. Don't share your binoculars, of course.


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#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 12:20 PM

I captured Mars - Neptune a few years ago

 

Mars-Neptune arrow2.jpg


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#3 spereira

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 01:01 PM

Moving to Solar System Observing.

 

smp


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#4 RussL

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 01:45 PM

I noticed it, too, while looking at my sky app on my phone. Caught it in binos and my C80ED about a week ago.
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#5 byi

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:34 PM

I observed it the other day through my 8" dob and found out that my GSO 50mm EP is *definitely* not 60deg FoV as advertised. Both planets should have fit easily in the view, but they were juuust barely on the edge.

Anyway, it didn't occur to me until reading this to try my old binoculars... duh
Thanks for the reminder of that option. Going to do that as soon as the clouds clear.

It was quite nice having an easy star field in which to find Uranus. Previously I have found it much more challenging.
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#6 rhetfield

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:07 PM

Any idea how close together they will get. I looked a couple days ago, but they weren't quite in the same fov.

#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 08:54 PM

There's been an ongoing CN thread on Uranus at https://www.cloudyni...finding-uranus/



#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 08:58 PM

Any idea how close together they will get. I looked a couple days ago, but they weren't quite in the same fov.

The two planets were actually closest on January 20th by a small margin. Mars and Uranus were in conjunction in right ascension on January 21st, when Mars was 1.7 degrees north of Uranus.

 

https://www.skymania...lRMbzBjenlPV1E.

 

https://earthsky.org...nction-jan-2021


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#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 10:28 PM

There's another ongoing thread at https://www.cloudyni...3#entry10824742



#10 Rutilus

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 05:26 AM

Having a bright naked eye object nearby really does help with Uranus. Around a decade ago, Uranus was quite close

to the planet Jupiter. I even managed to image them late in the afternoon/evening while it was still daylight. 

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  • daylight Jupiter-cn.jpg

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#11 rhetfield

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 09:07 AM

The two planets were actually closest on January 20th by a small margin. Mars and Uranus were in conjunction in right ascension on January 21st, when Mars was 1.7 degrees north of Uranus.

 

https://www.skymania...lRMbzBjenlPV1E.

 

https://earthsky.org...nction-jan-2021

Thanks - good to know.  They were a little over 2 deg apart when I got a look.


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