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Science And Nature

Use Mars to identify elusive Uranus on Sunday

Starry Night graphic showing the location of Mars and Uranus in the night sky.

Mars will approach Uranus in the first hours on Sunday (July 31). The pair will undoubtedly be close enough to talk about exactly the same field of view as seen by way of a couple of binoculars, that is illustrated with the green circle. The red path is labeled with date:time of the orbital motion of mars towards Uranus on the next couple of days. (Image credit: Starry Night)

Turn your focus on the southeastern sky through the early hours on Sunday (July 31) to see Mars approach Uranus.

The duo will undoubtedly be close enough to talk about exactly the same field of view as seen with binoculars or perhaps a low-magnification telescope, as illustrated by the green circle in the image above.

“Starting on Sunday, July 31, the eastward orbital motion of the scarlet planet Mars (red path with labeled date:time) will make it towards Uranus from the proper (or celestial west),” wrote astronomer Chris Vaughan of (opens in new tab), who prepares’s monthly Night Sky calendar in cooperation with Simulation Curriculum. “On Sunday, Uranus will undoubtedly be positioned a thumb’s width to top of the left of Mars,” Vaughan continued.

Related: Best stargazing tents: keep warm and dry when skywatching

Through the following mornings, Mars will continue steadily to travel past Uranus. The pair can look at their closest on Aug. 2, when Uranus will sit just 1.5 degrees above Mars.(Your clenched fist held at arm’s length covers about 10 levels of sky.)

In accordance with Vaughan, the planetary “meet and greet” is most beneficial viewed between 3 and 4 a.m. local time, once the pair will sit almost halfway up the darkened sky.

The precise time of the function varies based on your unique location, so you will want to have a look at a skywatching app like SkySafari or software like Starry Night to check on for times. Our picks for the best stargazing apps can help you together with your planning.

Uranus can look as a blue-green dot, shining at magnitude 5.8, as the reddish dot of Mars will shine brighter at magnitude 0.2. (On the magnitude scale utilized by astronomers, lower numbers signify brighter objects. For comparison, at its brightest, the earth Venus shines with a magnitude of about -4.6.)

Uranus is frequently difficult to identify because it is really a speck of light amidst a background of stars with similar brightness. But as distinctive Mars approaches the tiny blue-green dot, it must be easier to choose from the celestial crowd. The skies may also be particularly dark because the thin waxing crescent moon will undoubtedly be below the horizon by enough time the duo rises in the sky.

If you are searching for a telescope or binoculars to see Mars approach Uranus, our guides for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now might help. Our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography may also assist you to prepare to fully capture another skywatching sight by yourself.

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Daisy Dobrijevic

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 as a reference writer having previously worked for the sister publication ABOUT Space magazine as an employee writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky during the night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the general public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and in addition holds a Master’s in Environmental Science, she actually is currently located in Nottingham, U.K.

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