See Uranus in the morning sky

A few weeks ago the Moon acted as a signpost to Neptune. This month it acts as an easy pointer to Uranus. On the morning of July 9 (Thursday) at 02:00UT (3am BST) – yes, it’s another early riser event – Uranus will lie just under 2 degrees north of the Moon, making an interesting observing or imaging opportunity. The Moon itself will be just a few hours past last quarter.

The sky chart here (produced using SkyMap Pro 11) shows the Moon, Uranus and stars to mag 9. North is up and west to the right. The field circle on the chart is 6 degrees – a typical field of view for low power binoculars (7×50 or 10×50). Uranus will be at magnitude 5.8 and in binoculars will look just like a star. A well collimated medium size telescope (say 150 or 200mm reflector) under a steady sky should resolve its 3.5 arcsec disk. The two brightest stars on the chart are magnitude 5.2 zeta Piscium to the north-west of Uranua and magnitude 5.5 80 Piscium to the west of the Moon.

The British Astronomical Association supports amateur astronomers around the UK and the rest of the world. Find out more about the BAA or join us.