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SacRiker

Tips to help find Uranus?

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I've not yet seen Uranus through my scope and am going to make an effort once the clouds blow away (of course we get a storm the moment I get back into astronomy!). Based on the equipment i have (please see signature) can you all give some tips on how I might have success in this endeavor? Would be much appreciated!

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It is currently about 1 1/4 degrees north of omicron Psc. The only thing you might mistake it for is 54 Ceti which is about twice the distance and more NE than N. It will be visible in binoculars and should be in the same field as Omicron Psc.

Once you have located it in binos, use your scope, with its longest eyepiece. Start by pointing the telrad at omicron Psc and then move it just over 1 degree north. You should have Uranus in the eypiece. You can then increase the magnification (recentring each time before increasing magnification) and you will start to see a disc, which may appear greenish.

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Are childish jokes out of the question?

On a serious note, it should not be too difficult to do it. Simple star hopping.

At mag5.77 (according to Stellarium) at the moment, being in somewhat sparser region (not many bright stars around it) - it will be brightest dot at the eyepiece. It is located "above" (at around 6pm, facing south) mag4 star so should be straight forward to navigate to it. At eyepiece it will be just a dot - star like. On higher magnification if seeing is relatively stead you should be able to discern a disc - but it will be tiny, given that planet is now about 3.6" in diameter (half that of current Mars angular size). Color should be distinct.

Just use Stellarium or other planetarium software and take some notes of nearby stars and their relative positions - or you can print out a star chart. Even using phone or tablet in the field is ok since you are not after faint object (I found that any light impacts my night vision so I don't like to use these devices in the field).

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6 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Are childish jokes out of the question?

Never! Thanks for the tips. 

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I think it is very helpful to have Sky Safari, Stellarium Mobile or some other software on your phone/tablet that you can take out with you and match up to what you see in the sky and through the eyepiece. It is a small planet and at low magnification can be mistaken for a star.

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If you have s pair of binoculars, find it with those first. That seems to help locate it with the scope afterwards.

Through the scope, it will spear like a blue/green star at low mags and will resolve into a perfect little disc as you up the mag.

Good luck

Paul

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Thanks everyone for the tips. Once this storm passes I'll do my best to find it and report back. 

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Sitting on it?

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