Science

Catch the moon pointing to Uranus on Friday

Early Friday morning (July 22) the waning crescent moon will be well positioned to guide you to the tiny 5.8 dot that is Uranus.

(On the magnitude scale used by astronomers, lower numbers mean brighter objects. For example, the planet Venus at its brightest shines at a magnitude of about -4.6. (will open in a new tab).)

You should be able to see the pair about two hours before the sky begins to brighten, according to astronomer Chris Vaughan of Astrogeo.ca, who produces Space.com’s monthly night sky calendar in collaboration with Simulation Curriculum.

During the rendezvous, Uranus and the Moon will be close enough to be seen with binoculars, and can also be seen with backyard telescopes.

Related: Brightest planets in July night sky: how to see them (and when)

“When the moon rises after 1 a.m. local time in the Eastern Time Zone, Uranus will be located a lunar diameter above (or in the celestial northwest of) the moon,” Vaughan writes. “The Moon’s eastward orbit (green line) will move it steadily further towards the lower left corner of Uranus every hour, so observers looking later and in more westerly time zones will find Uranus up to 3 degrees from the Moon.”

The exact time of the event depends on your specific location, so you’ll need to check a sky-watching app like SkySafari or software like Starry Night to check the time. Our selection of the best stargazing apps can help you plan ahead.

Skywatchers located from northeast Brazil to the Cape Verde Islands and northwest Africa will be able to see the moon occulting Uranus at around 00:30 AM EDT (0430 GMT), Vaughan said.

If you are looking for a telescope or binoculars to observe these sky observation objects, our guides to the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals can help you. Our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses will also help you get ready for your next skyscape.

The Moon is coming to the end of its monthly planetary journey. After passing Uranus on Friday (July 22), he will visit Venus on July 26 and then recap with Mercury on July 29.

If you’d like to take a closer look at our rocky companion, our definitive guide to moonwatching will help you plan your next skywatching adventure, whether it’s exploring the lunar seas, the mountainous terrain, or the many craters that cover the moon. landscape. You can also see where astronauts, rovers and landers have ventured with our Apollo Landing Site Watching Guide.

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