HomeSpaceUranus occulted by the Moon – Astronomy Now

Uranus occulted by the Moon – Astronomy Now

Uranus is occulted by the Moon throughout the UK on the early-evening of 5 December.

A fairly uncommon observational occasion seen throughout the entire of the UK, a planet occulted by the Moon, happens on the early-evening of 5 December when the Moon strikes over Uranus, the ice-giant seventh planet. This will probably be Uranus’ second occultation occasion seen from the UK this yr, following September’s episode.

Uranus, shining at magnitude +5.7, is at present well-placed within the night sky among the many stars of Aries (1.5° south-south-east of magnitude +5.3 pi Arietis), having been at its opposition greatest simply final month. 

The excellent news is {that a} humble pair of 10 x 50 binoculars is all that’s required to view this thrilling occultation, with Uranus’ disappearance and reappearance observable with the Moon at a snug altitude. 

Uranus strikes behind the darkish limb of a 94.3-per cent-illuminated waxing gibbous Moon at 4.45pm GMT from London, 4.49pm in Birmingham, 4.52pm in Manchester and 4.59pm from Edinburgh. Uranus and the Moon are rising within the japanese sky and lay round 20 levels excessive at occultation time. 

The Moon reappears on the Moon’s shiny limb at about 5.20pm and 5.22pm from London and Edinburgh, respectively. 

Why not spend a while observing Uranus after the occultation is over? It’s observing circumstances from UK shores are enhancing year-on-year because it seems greater within the northern sky. With its declination now a beneficial 16 levels north for observers from mid-northern latitudes, Uranus climbs to a delightful altitude of fifty levels or so when it culminates (crosses the southern meridian at its peak altitude) at about 10pm GMT.

Uranus is a simple seize by a pair of 10 x 50 binoculars, whereas a telescope within the 80–100mm (~three- to four-inch) aperture class, giving a magnification of at the very least 100x, can present its 3.7-arcsecond-diameter blue-green disc.



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