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 Post subject: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:53 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3303
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Last seen by me on February 27th this year, this distant planet has been lost in the rays of the Sun eversince. This morning I spied it again. In the interim period it crept unseen into the bottom right-hand corner of Aries. Having previously plotted its location from an ephemeris onto Uranometria map 99. This morning the sky was very clear and so, using Nikon 15-45x60 spotter on a tripod and set up in the backyard, I decided to try and locate it. Once I found the distinctive squashed rectangle in Pisces (containing the star CY) that I used and recognised from last year, I was soon able to find Omicron (110) Piscium, panning left i located the distinctive triangle + fainter star across the border, in Aries and finally further to the left I saw two "stars" + another two stars up to the left producing a zigzag or parallelogram. The lowest of the 4 objects was Herschel's planet or Uranus. Zooming the scope up from 15x ( searching mode is best with the lowest
magnification and widest field) just about made it possible to distinguish it from its appearance alone although it basically looks like a star at low magnifications. Time was 0250-0315 BST.(Uranus observations #1358).(PS. Of course if you have a GOTO scope you can find it without all that rigmarole )Regards maf


Last edited by mike a feist on Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:53 am
Posts: 538
Is there no way on this forum to "like" comments such as these

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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Posts: 5340
Location: Lancashire
Back in the 1950s/60s Mike, it was possible to see Uranus from the centre of town with the unaided eye. Imagine being able to do that now in a world awash with light pollution.
Telescopically, I've only seen Uranus once and that was in the early '60s through a friend's homemade ( optics bought out ) 8-inch reflector.
Voyager probes showed the planet to be aquamarine, but in the 'scope it looked distinctly green to me. The planet was fairly low at the time, so it might have been an atmospheric effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Posts: 3609
Location: Wellingborough
skyhawk wrote:
Is there no way on this forum to "like" comments such as these


We haven't been granted a "Like" option. Normally we just post a "Well done" type of message or even just a "happy" smiley,

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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:42 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
During my first foray into observing, way back in the turn of the 1950/1960s I too remember that time when the lights went out at midnight and towns were dead after about 11pm. At that time the family moved from the town centre to what my visiting paternal grandmother, when visiting for the first time, referred to that "god-forsaken place" after a very long ride on the bus to get there. There was a farm at the north end of the road, stables at the southern end, market gardens along the valley at the bottom of the garden and when those street lights went off it was wonderful. At that time I started observing with binoculars, a naval drawtube telescope mounted on a wooden homemade tripod and attached by bits of Meccano, an angled, prismatic ex-wd spotter, and finally an 8" reflector with George Hole mirror. I recorded my observations even then but whether I located Uranus or not I do not remember and in the mad years of youthful over-excitement I gave it all up, sold the books and telescopes and burnt all my diaries! I took me many years to come back to skywatching.
The farm has now gone, only the name " Farm Close " on the street-sign standing as it's gravestone at the entrance to the road where houses replace horses. Darkness now never comes, buses run throughout the night and the march of housing estates gobble-up the remaining quiet and lonely places.The past is indeed a lost country. Regards, a wiser but sadder, maf.


Last edited by mike a feist on Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:43 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3303
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Duplicate entry sorry, as still learning to use the touch- screen tablet !


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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
Posts: 478
Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
Mike, your entry today is a priceless little yarn. I love it. I can also remember using an old 2 inch brass and leather naval refractor when I was about 12 or 13 to peer at the Moon and M42. It had a chipped objective; the friend who lent it to me told me that one of his forebears (I thought there only three!) had used it to watch the last fleet hanging. The old sodium street lighting was not so destructive of town skies in those days. Thanks for the memory. Kind thoughts to you, Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Return of Uranus
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Thank you Bob for your reply. Regards maf.


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