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Subject:  Re: Most Memorable Observations Date:  2/14/2002  10:56 AM
Author:  MainiacJoe Number:  149 of 1884

3. Uranus in binoculars, 1995

Nice! Is this possible under less-than-ideal skies? I live about 30 miles outside of D.C., and it's not too bad, considering.

Most definitely! Uranus is about magnitude 6, which is what the naked eye can see in the true dark. Yes, Uranus is a naked eye object under good conditions! There are two components of light pollution: glare and skyglow. If you stand in a location where you are shielded from direct glare from lights, skyglow will not hide Uranus, especially in 7x50 or 10x50 binocs.

Uranus is in Capricorn right now, where the Sun is, so it will be a few months before it is an observable morning object, and half a year until it is an evening object. When the time comes, go to and get a finder chart. However, if you are able to see the asteroid Vesta in your binocs, you will be able to see Uranus when the time comes as it is of similar brightness, the only possible naked-eye asteroid. It is in Taurus right now and an easy target after sunset; here is a finder chart:

Clear skies and happy starhopping,

- Joe
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