Uranus at Opposition

On Tuesday, the blue-green planet Uranus will reach opposition. At that time, it will be visible all night and at its peak brightness (magnitude 5.7) and size for this year.

You can see it without optical aid under very dark skies, but binoculars and telescopes will work better. After mid-evening, Uranus will be high enough in the eastern sky to see it clearly. Uranus is so far from Earth all the time that its appearance at opposition is little better than it is on evenings within a month of opposition. The planet will be 2.8 trillion km from us this week. Its reflected sunlight will require more than 2.5 hours to reach our eyes on Earth!

Uranus will be located about 3 finger widths to the left (east) of the modestly bright star Torcular (Omega Piscium). That star sits a generous palm’s width above the “V” where the two starry cords of Pisces (the Fishes) meet. The planet will be carried higher in the sky until 1 am local time.

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