Neptune is at opposition this week, almost 29 earth-sun distances from us. It will be up all night in Aquarius. This is the best viewing until next August! Continue reading →
¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending August 31, 2013
Neptune is at opposition this week, almost 29 earth-sun distances from us. It will be up all night in Aquarius. It’s going to be a challenge to find. Neptune’s not bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. It doesn’t happen to be very close to any very bright stars right now. So you’ll have to look for it among some of the dimmer guiding lights.
There’s a funny history to Neptune’s discovery. By accident, it wasn’t discovered sooner than it was. And by a combination of accident and coincidence, it was discovered when it was.
Galileo is believed to be the first person to see Neptune in 1612. He was watching Jupiter and following it from night to night. He made sketches on two nights Jupiter and Neptune were very close to each other. He thought the blue object next to Jupiter was a star, although his drawings and notes do indicate he thought it to ...