Evening sky watchers will be treated with an amazing, rare view on Thursday, October 19, 2017: Uranus. On this date, Uranus will be at its closest point to Earth, some 1.7billion miles away. At its most distant position, it is roughly 2billion miles away. Known as “opposition”, Uranus will be on the opposite side of the Sun in our skies. Due to this position, Uranus could be visible to the naked eye in the night sky, located near the constellation of Pisces in the southeast sky. Using a telescope or camera with zoom lens, you may be able to see a blue green hue to the icy planet.
Astronomy Magazine reports that due to its location in the night sky, the view provided this month will be the best seen since February 1963. “The appearance of an outer planet changes slowly, and Uranus maintains its magnitude 5.7 peak throughout October, ” Astronomy Magazine writes. “The ice giant lies among the background stars of Pisces. It starts the month 1.3° northwest of magnitude 4.3 Omicron (ο) Piscium and ends the month 2.2° due west of this star. Once you locate Uranus through binoculars, set them aside and try to spot the planet with your naked eye. You should be able to from under a dark sky. A telescope reveals Uranus’ 3.7″-diameter disk and impressive blue-green color.”