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How to find Uranus without a telescope

If you look in the southern sky, you'll see Uranus below the Great Square of Pegasus next to a faint star.

If you look in the southern sky, you’ll see Uranus below the Great Square of Pegasus next to a faint star.

Here’s how to find Uranus in the sky.

It appears next to a faint star below the Great Square of Pegasus as seen in this chart. Use binoculars.

Uranus is faint. It is 1767000000 miles away, twice as far from the sun as Saturn.

If you use a telescope you’ll see a tiny blue green disk, but Uranus is too far away to see any of its 27 moons.

Interesting facts about Uranus

Uranus orbits the sun on its side. The planet’s axis is tipped so much that the sun shines on Uranus’ north pole for half the year.

The astronmer Herschel discovered Uranus in the 18th century, and when it came time to name the planet, it was almost as big a deal as naming a stadium in today’s world.

Herschel decided to play it safe and name it after his king, King George III of England, Georgium Sidus (George’s Star).

It turns out King George was not very popular outside of England, so Johann Bode suggested it be named after the Greek god of the sky, Ouranos, pronounced, OR-uh-nis and the matter was settled.

Unfortunately, English speakers pronounce the Greek word not as OR-uh-nis, but instead as a certain part of the human body, inevitably provoking hoards of laughter from sixth graders.

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One comment

  1. Nerd Demon  October 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    haha, get it?

    Uranus?

    Reply

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