© NASA/Voyager 2

Uranus at solar conjunction

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 at10:03 EDT(147 days away)
14:03 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Uranus will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

At closest approach, Uranus will appear at a separation of only 0°31' from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

At around the same time, Uranus will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 20.90 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.

If Uranus could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 3.4 arcsec in diameter.

Over following weeks and months, Uranus will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. After around six months, it will reach opposition, when it will be visible for virtually the whole night. A chart of the path of Uranus across the sky in 2018 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Uranus at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Uranus 01h45m40s +10°21' Pisces 3.4"
Sun 01h44m +10°50' Pisces 31'51"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 18 April 2018
Sunrise 06:28
Sunset 19:48
Twilight ends
21:24
Twilight begins
04:51

2-day old moon
Age of Moon
2 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:37 11:43 17:48
Venus 07:35 14:42 21:49
Moon 08:36 15:34 22:32
Mars 01:56 06:38 11:20
Jupiter 21:27 02:38 07:45
Saturn 01:16 06:02 10:48

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

19 Oct 2017, 13:21 EDT  –  Uranus at opposition
23 Oct 2018, 20:33 EDT  –  Uranus at opposition
28 Oct 2019, 04:02 EDT  –  Uranus at opposition
31 Oct 2020, 11:40 EDT  –  Uranus at opposition

Image credit

© NASA/Voyager 2

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39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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