2012 August 22
Neptune at Opposition
Neptune comes to opposition on August 24 in the constellation of Aquarius and lies just over a degree to the east of 38 Aquarii. At opposition, its magnitude will be +7.8 and so it can be seen with just a pair of binoculars or a very mall telescope. A chart for finding Neptune can be found in the BAA Handbook.
Observers with larger instruments may be able to see the planet’s disk which is only 2”.4 across.
Its largest satellite is Triton. Although this is only about 13 magnitude, it should be seen visually in large amateur telescopes or via digital imaging techniques such as shown in the attached image taken by Maurice Gavin on 2010 August 30.
By Mike Foulkes, Saturn Section Director