Astro Pop: Watch the hidden moon Uranus – Duluth News Tribune

How could something as small as the Moon cover Uranus, a planet four times the diameter of Earth? easy! The Moon is 7,280 times closer to us, so its apparent size is about 500 times larger. thus.

Uranus blockage

In this simulated view of Duluth, Minnesota, tiny Uranus is just seconds away from being dunked by the moon early on the morning of October 12. Taiko is a prominent crater in the southern hemisphere of the Moon.

Contribute / Stellarium

You’ll see an exciting and close pairing of the two worlds before the moon temporarily covers the planet on Tuesday night – Wednesday morning, October 11-12. From the Midwest, hiding is an early-morning event. In the far west it happens before midnight.

Uranus occultation map

Observers north of the white line (white arrows) will see concealment. South of the line (yellow arrows), the moon will pass north of Uranus.

Contribute / Occult 4.0

Above the white line on the map, the moon will appear mysterious Or hide the planet for anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. South of the line, the moon misses Uranus, passing just above (north) of it. Depending on your location, the seventh planet will reappear along the opposite edge of the Moon minutes to over an hour later.

For disappearance and reappearance times of many cities across the United States and Canada, use this site. Please note that the times shown are Universal Time (UT), which is basically the time in London, England, in a 24-hour format. To convert to eastern daylight, subtract 4 hours; 5 hours for CDT; 6 hours for MDT and 7 hours for PDT.

Uranus Salt Lake City

This is a view of Uranus and the Moon at 10:59 GMT, Oct. 11 from Salt Lake City, Utah, a minute before the occultation begins.

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For example, if you live in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Uranus disappears at 5:36:58 UTC on October 12. Subtract five hours, and you get 00:36:58 DST or 12:36:58 AM which is 36 minutes and 58 seconds after midnight. For observers in Salt Lake City, Utah, Uranus disappears at 5:00:11 UTC, subtract six hours, and you get 23:00:11 or 11:00:11 p.m. (11 seconds after 11 p.m.) on me October 11. Note that the subtraction has moved the time to late Tuesday evening.

If your city is not on the list, go to Stellarium Web Online Star Map. It will default to your current location and time. Then type “Moon” in the search box at the top, press Enter and click on the “Moon” option. With the moon now centered on your screen, pinch to zoom in a bit. You should also see Uranus nearby.

Click the time box at the bottom right of the screen and bring the time forward. As you do this, Uranus and the Moon will get closer and closer to each other, allowing you to determine the minute the planet disappears behind the Moon. You can also use the map to see where Uranus is in relation to the Moon no matter where you live.

Uranus before occultation

A few hours before unseen, when Uranus is a degree or more away from the moon, you might be able to spot the planet with binoculars.

Contribute / Stellarium

Normally, I write about things you can see without equipment, but this time you’ll need at least a small telescope to see the Moon, which is slowly moving eastward as it orbits the Earth, getting closer and covering the planet. It is easy to spot Uranus with binoculars in a moonless sky. How close you were to the moon before the moon’s glare overwhelmed the first point of light, I don’t know. Maybe a few hours before and again a few hours after the occultation? Take a look and tell us.

For telescope users, it’s wise to set up about 15 minutes in advance, so you can spot the planet and focus everything. Zoomed in 50 times or more, you’ll see the bright edge of the moon approach the planet’s tiny pale blue disk. When the moon blocks a star, it quickly and suddenly flashes because it is the smallest point of light. Uranus appears as a disk, so it will take several seconds for the moon to completely cover it.

Unseen is exciting to watch. You will see an orb moving in real time across the sky as well as get a real sense of the distance between objects in our solar system. I wish you a clear sky!

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