Here's your chance to see Neptune!

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crazyeddie

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If you've never been able to locate our most distant major planet, now's your chance. Starting later this week, brilliant Jupiter will appear in the same low-power telescopic field as Neptune, making the smaller, dimmer planet easy to locate and identify. This planetary conjunction will not occur again until April, 2022, so don't miss it!

The first of this year's three pairings will come on May 27; the closest of the three that occur in 2009, with Jupiter passing just 0.38-degree south of Neptune [Map].

That's roughly equal to three-quarters the apparent diameter of the Moon. So if you've never seen the most distant planet from the sun, you'll have an excellent opportunity on this morning, using Jupiter as your guide. With binoculars or a telescope, focus first on Jupiter then search just above it for a tiny bluish "star"; this will be Neptune. Keep in mind that Neptune will appear only about 1/13,000 as bright as Jupiter.

The next two conjunctions between these planets will be on July 9 and December 21.


http://www.space.com/spacewatch/090522- ... piter.html
 
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3488

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Thanks Crazyeddie,

Whilst I have seen Neptune on several occassions, I would urge anyone who has not, not to waste this chance should the weather co-operate. In fact with some clearer skies forecasted here, I too will look again.

Jupiter is so easy to locate, that having such a beacon so close by in our skies (line of sight effect, Neptune is approx five times further away than Jupiter) it is far too good a chance to miss.

Andrew Brown.
 
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Orly198d

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How long is the July 9th conjunction going to be visible, only on the 9th or is it like Venus and Mars, hanging around the AM sky for a period of weeks and months ?
 
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crazyeddie

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Orly198d":3pjk31ek said:
How long is the July 9th conjunction going to be visible, only on the 9th or is it like Venus and Mars, hanging around the AM sky for a period of weeks and months ?
It will be visible between the 9th and the 13th before the two planets start to pull too far apart to be visible in the same low-power field.
 
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Orly198d

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Sweet !! I should be getting my Orion Telescope in on the 10th. It shipped out yesterday, hopefully I can get it all set up and working properly before they start drifting apart, I've alreadyy missed Mars and Venus' month(s) long viewing , Saturn's rings, the Pleiades*, and on and on and on, I don't want to miss another good event. Thanks !!! :D
 
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