Solar System Phenomena - Uranus

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The chart shows the path of Uranus across the background stars over the course of the year. Stars to magnitude +9.5 are shown. The white circles represent the planet on the first day of the month (the thirteenth circle representing 1 January next year) and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint path before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next year. In general, the planet moves from right to left except when it's in retrograde and proceding in the opposite direction.

Uranus begins the year in the constellation Pisces. This green ice giant hovers around sixth magnitude so it is best viewed with some kind of optical aid. It is an evening sky object at the start of 2018 but sets ever earlier as it approaches an April conjunction. It re-emerges in the morning sky by the beginning of June and pulls away from the Sun, reaching opposition in late October. It is well-placed for viewing in the evening sky during the last two months of the year.

01 Januarymaximum declination south
02 Januarystationary - retrograde to direct
14 Januaryeast quadrature (magnitude +5.8)
18 Aprilconjunction
23 AprilPiscesAries
12 May2.0° north of Mercury
25 Julywest quadrature (magnitude +5.8)
06 Augustmaximum declination north
07 Auguststationary - direct to retrograde
24 Octoberopposition (magnitude +5.7)