Neptune at East Quadrature

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   Thursday November 27th the position of the planet Neptune with respect to the Earth and the Sun places this ringed planet at what is called eastern quadrature. Neptune is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth as this graphic shows. Think first quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions. At this position Neptune follows the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Neptune rises after the Sun and sets after the Sun.
28nov-bino   Where is Neptune now?The 8th planet from the Sun is currently within the constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer and has recently completed its retrograde motion. Finding Neptune will be made a little easier as Neptune and the Moon will be a few degrees apart on the evening of the 28th. Despite the close proximity Neptune ‘shines’ at 8th magnitude compared to the -12th magnitude for the first quarter Moon. However after a couple of days and the Moon has moved further east leaving Neptune in relatively darker skies Neptune will be visible in binoculars.

   This is a short 1 minute clip of a video I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” that I was part of in May 2011. This is a piece from the much longer tour of the solar system performance and video and shows Neptune and some of its moons as viewed from the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

   
   
   
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Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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