The Moon and Uranus – They Are Not the Same Thing!

   Ok, so how can you Moon Uranus? Yeah I know – a sad, and bad joke. Let’s put it behind us.
   Sunday morning, August 13th, the 21-day old waning gibbous Moon rises within a few degrees from the planet Uranus. Both are within the eastern fish of the constellation Pisces the Fishes. Uranus ‘shines’ at just under 6th magnitude so it is possible to see the 7th main planet from the Sun with binoculars. However the reflected light from the Moon will brighten the sky more than enough to drown out the dimmer light from Uranus and most other stars in the area making them not visible.
   Not that it will be visible but near the Moon on the opposite side from Uranus is one of the dwarf planets, Eris. However at nearly 19th magnitude and almost 95.729 AU, (8,898,566,474 miles ; 14,320,854,563 km) from the Earth it is all but impossible to see without some serious amateur equipment, at an observatory, or with the Hubble Telescope. Add approximately an additional 1 AU (93,000,000 miles; 1,496,68992,000 km) to get its distance from the Sun.
   What did I say about enough of the ‘bad jokes’? This cartoon reminded me of the statement, “Captain, We’re orbiting Uranus searching for Klingons.”

   
   
   
   
   
   Speaking of Uranus here is a portion of the Orbits performance video showing Uranus and some of its moons.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Sun Enters Pisces

11 March 2014   Friday March 11th the Sun in its apparent eastward motion along the ecliptic, moves out of the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer and into the constellation of Pisces the Fishes. This is the true or actual position of the Sun as opposed to the pseudoscience of astrology which usually has the astrological Sun one constellation ahead or east from the Astronomical Sun’s position.
Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.

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.

Sun Enters Picses

11 March 2014

11 March 2014

   Thursday March 12th at 4 am CDT, (10 UT), the Sun in its apparent eastward motion along the ecliptic, moves out of the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer and into the constellation of Pisces the Fishes. This is the true or actual position of the Sun as opposed to the pseudoscience of astrology which usually has the astrological Sun one constellation ahead or east from the Astronomical Sun’s position.
   Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.
   
   
   
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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.

Sun Not in Pisces

The view from Earth - 18 February.

The view from Earth – 18 February.

  According to the pseudoscience of astrology the Sun enters the constellation of Pisces the Fishes on Wednesday February 18th at 2 pm CST (20 UT). When in fact the actual position of the Sun on Wednesday is within the boundary of the constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer, as this graphic shows. Actually the Sun had just entered Aquarius 2 days ago.

   Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.
   
   
   
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.

Sun Enters Pisces Today

11 March 2014

11 March 2014

   Today Tuesday 11 March at 11 pm CDT, (12 March 4 UT), the Sun in its apparent eastward motion along the ecliptic, moves out of the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer and into the constellation of Pisces the Fishes. This is the true or actual position of the Sun as opposed to the pseudoscience of astrology which usually has the astrological Sun one constellation ahead or east from the Astronomical Sun’s position.
   Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.
   
   
   
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.

Sun Not in Pisces Today

The view from Earth - 18 February.

The view from Earth – 18 February.

  According to the pseudoscience of astrology the Sun enters the constellation of Pisces the Fishes today, 18 February at 12 pm CST (18 UT). When in fact the actual position of the Sun today is within the boundary of the constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer, as this graphic shows. Actually the Sun had just entered Aquarius 2 days ago.

   Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.
   
   
   
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.

Moon Uranus!

Click on image to see full size

Click on image to see full size

   Ok, so how can you Moon Uranus? Yeah I know – a sad, and bad joke. Let’s put it behind us.
   Seriously, late this evening, 23 August, the waning gibbous Moon rises within a few degrees from the planet Uranus. Both are within the eastern fish of the constellation Pisces the Fishes as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows. Uranus ‘shines’ at just under 6th magnitude so it is possible to see the 7th main planet from the Sun with binoculars. However the reflected light from the Moon will brighten the sky enough to drown out the dimmer light from Uranus and most other stars in the area making them not visible. So just remember this spot in the sky and also that the Moon rises about an hour later each day and after the Moon is no longer in the vicinity you should be able to pick out the planet.
   Click here to see a simulated star field as seen through 7×50 binoculars with the apparent magnitude for some of the stars around Uranus shown.

   
   Speaking of Uranus here is a portion of the Orbits performance video showing Uranus and some of its moons.

   
   
   
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.