Uranus is Stationary

   I suppose if you are into twerking then the title of this posting should cause a pause. However.
    All planets orbit the Sun and relative to Earth’s orbit the direction is to the east. Each planet periodically appears to go backward to the west, or in retrograde motion. The outer planets appear to retrograde but it is an illusion created by the faster moving Earth as it passes the outer planet. The two inner planets, on the other hand (or orbit) do actually move westward as they orbit from eastern elongation to western elongation. At the transition between regular or direct motion and retrograde motion, and the transition from retrograde back to direct motion the planet appears to pause in its orbital motion. This apparent pause is referred to as when the planet is stationary.
   Retrograde motion of an outer planet like Uranus will vary in the duration. Uranus began its retrograde motion on July 26th and ends that apparent motion and resumes its east, direct, or prograde motion on December 26th. The animated graphic shows the orbital motion of Uranus during most of 2015 including its retrograde motion. The graphic is based on an Atlas view of the sky and like any map shows some of the coordinate lines. The stars are part of the constellation Pisces the Fishes. The green line is the ecliptic, the blue line is part of the constellation shape pattern..
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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