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GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-15, 11:47 PM
We were discussing viewing the planet Uranus in the Things you missed (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=399&forum=2&start=50&52) thread, and I went out to look at it tonight, with just binoculars. Ya gotta see it.

Tonight, Mercury was very bright, low and to the right of the crescent moon. Just to the right of the moon about three degrees was delta Capricorni. On the other side of the star was Uranus. It was lined up between two other stars, and I thought I was seeing double. Turns out Uranus is mag. 5.9 and 44 Capricorni is mag. 5.89, 3 arcminutes away from it. Kinda cool.

Check it out tomorrow night. The moon will be about halfway between Mars and Mercury, Mercury much brighter than Mars. Delta Capricorni (mag. 3) will be half way between Mercury and the moon, and Uranus will be just to the right of that star--still in a line, doubled up.

If you miss it, you can add it to the Things you missed.

<font size=-1>[Added binocs]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-01-16 07:56 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Jan-16, 03:45 PM
On 2002-01-15 18:47, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
We were discussing viewing the planet Uranus in the Things you missed (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=399&forum=2&start=50&52) thread, and I went out to look at it tonight, with just binoculars. Ya gotta see it.


Last night as soon as I received your post, I went out to the backyard just to see the sky plagued by heavy clouds (it's been this way since new year's eve). It's 15:00 hours now and the sky is 60% clear. With a little luck i'll be able the see it tonight. Maybe we can compare observations later. Thanks for the tip, friend.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-17, 02:15 AM
Clouds.

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Jan-17, 02:50 AM
Wow. I went out with binocs and Uranus was easy tonight. Delta Capricornus makes it easy to spot. For a map of the sky right there, first go to heavens-above.com (http://www.heavens-above.com) to get a map of where Mercury is near Capricornus (Uranus is not listed, and you can enter your latitude and longitude to generate the skymap) and then go to Sky and Telescope's website (http://www.skypub.com) (first go to "Sights", and then "Planets and Moons"; there's a link to Uranus).

Uranus is very close to a star which is just ever so slightly brighter to my eye. Very cool.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-17, 03:29 AM
I hope you didn't miss Mercury. It drops out of sight pretty quickly.

The Sky and Telescope pages (http://www.skypub.com/sights/sights.shtml) point to 2001 charts (they're updating their website soon) but 44 capricorni--the star that Uranus is paired with--is on the chart.

SiriMurthy
2002-Feb-25, 05:19 PM
Sorry, for joining in so late. I was wondering how you guys view these distant objects with binocs? I have 20 x 50 as well as 10 x 50. My binocs get very shaky even with 10 x 50. How do you manage to keep your field of view steady? Use a tripod? (My 20 x 50 fits into the tripod).

I have tried the Pleiades cluster and the Orion nebulae and without the tripod it would be impossible for me to focus my view.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-25, 06:17 PM
At one time, I could hold pretty steady with 10x, but I'm getting kinda shaky even with 7x now. 20x would be out of the question, probably always was. Tripod would be the way to go.

Still, Uranus is "naked eye" so it looks pretty bright in 7x50 binocs. Neptune's not bad either--I found it easily in 8x24.

SiriMurthy
2002-Feb-25, 06:24 PM
Still, Uranus is "naked eye" so it looks pretty bright in 7x50 binocs. Neptune's not bad either--I found it easily in 8x24.


Uranus is "naked eye"? Honestly, I didn't know that. My understanding was that the "Outer Planets" (beyond Jupiter?) were "telescopic". Damn, I missed Uranus all these days just because of my misconception?? I oughta kick myself (which I do many a time /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)

Ok, now tell me how to spot Uranus and Neptune at present. I followed one other thread which explained how/where to spot it. Is it still valid at present time?

Thanks for the info.

Another Phobos
2002-Feb-25, 06:32 PM
Uranus is "naked eye"? Honestly, I didn't know that.

Only if you know exactly where to look, the seeing that night is good, and there's NO light pollution around.

Kaptain K
2002-Feb-25, 06:33 PM
Ok, now tell me how to spot Uranus and Neptune at present. I followed one other thread which explained how/where to spot it. Is it still valid at present time?
Nope! They are behind the Sun right now. Wait a couple of month, and they will be in the morning sky.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-25, 06:59 PM
Uranus is around 5.7-5.9 usually, so it's brighter than the theoretical 6.0 naked eye limit, but you need pretty good conditions to see it. With binos, no problem.

It's pretty close to the Sun right now, and rises before it. The ecliptic there is inclined quite a bit now, so Uranus only gets a few degrees above the horizon before the Sun comes up. Too bad, too, because on Mar. 3/4 it gets within a minute of a magnitude 5.0 star, mu capricorni.

But, it's going to be teasing mu capricorni for some time! On September 14 it'll again be close (5 minutes) and December 22 (2 minutes). So watch that star, and you'll see Uranus eventually.

However, Neptune, at mag. 8 is higher. You might be able to see it. Yesterday morning it was less than half degree from Mercury! Tomorrow, it'll be two degrees away--but you'll see two planets in the same view.

Joel Clifton
2002-Feb-26, 01:15 AM
Wow! DIdja guys see Jupiter less than a half a degree from the moon a few days ago? Unfortunately I couldn't find that thing that attaches my tripod to my camera in time so I didn't get a shot of it. But it was pretty cool.

SiriMurthy
2002-Feb-26, 01:11 PM
On 2002-02-25 20:15, Joel Clifton wrote:
Wow! DIdja guys see Jupiter less than a half a degree from the moon a few days ago? Unfortunately I couldn't find that thing that attaches my tripod to my camera in time so I didn't get a shot of it. But it was pretty cool.


Yup it was cool.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-24, 09:12 AM
I went out this morning at 5am, took the dog and binoculars to the top of a small hill at the top of the street. At 5:15, the haze on the horizon was noticeable--and I could even see some darker low clouds in the coming morning light. Also, there were a myriad of streetlights shining down below, but the one closest was nearly flickered out. Not good conditions at all, for seeing planets that had just risen.

Still, it took me only a couple seconds to find Beta Capricorni in the 7x50 binoculars, with the triangle of Rho Capricorni right beneath it. I moved to the left till I could see Theta Capricorni. I knew Neptune would be about centered. By eye, I followed the string of three evenly spaced mag-six stars in to the center. A mag-seven star just to the right of the last one was easily visible; on the other side, about twice as far away, I could just make out Neptune.

Uranus (mag six) was already six degrees in alt (maybe four degrees above the trees) and I could make out the delta capricorni and gamma capricorni pair (both about mag three) just to the right of Uranus, but the haze was thick. And it was cold, so I went home.