By Mario Carr
On October 23, you could see distant planet Uranus with just a pair of binoculars when it’s at opposition.
For most of the year, the planet is too distant and too dim to see with your naked eyes or binoculars. During opposition, it’s a different story. The planet is closer than at any other time of the year and will appear a little brighter than usual. It can also be seen from sun-up to sun-set.
Some young people might even see it with their naked eyes. For most of us, we’ll need the aid of binoculars. Look for it rising in the east in the constellation Aries at sunset. It will reach its highest point in the sky just after midnight, as it moves southward when it sets in the west at sunrise.
Here are October stargazing events, which are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
October 11 – The Moon is above Jupiter low in the southwest at dusk.
October 12 — Hamilton Amateur Astronomers annual general meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m, Spectator Building, 44 Frid Street, Hamilton. Free admission, door prizes and everybody welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected and appreciated.
October 14 — The Moon is close to Saturn in the evening sky.
October 17&18 – The Moon is close to Mars in the southern evening sky.
October 21 – The Orionid meteor shower peaks after midnight.
October 24 – The Full Moon is called the Hunter’s Moon. Venus is also behind the Sun, or at inferior conjunction and can’t be seen.
For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.
Mario Carr is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarioCCarr