Solar System Phenomena — Uranus in 2023

The path of Uranus against the background stars in 2023

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 and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint paths before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next. In general, the planet moves from right to left except when it's in retrograde and proceding in the opposite direction.

The lower chart shows how the appearance of Uranus changes over the year. Below each image is listed the date, the apparent magnitude, the apparent diameter of the disk (in arc-seconds) and the geocentric distance (in au). Because the relative distance of Uranus does not greatly vary throughout the year, neither does its appearance through a telescope.

Uranus hovers around sixth magnitude so it is best viewed with some kind of optical aid. It spends the entirety of the year in Aries and is an evening sky object at the start of 2023, but it sets ever earlier as it approaches a May conjunction. It re-emerges in the morning sky in June and pulls away from the Sun, reaching opposition in mid-November. It is well-placed for viewing in the evening sky at both the start and end of the year. Besides passing close to the sixth-magnitude star 53 Arietis shortly after conjunction, the green ice giant has a number of close encounters with the Moon, actually being occulted three times in the first two months of the year.

1lunar occultation: 0.7° south of the Moon (visible from northeastern United States, northern Canada, the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, British Isles, Scandinavia and northwestern Russia)
21maximum declination south: +15.89°
23stationary in right ascension: retrograde → direct
stationary in ecliptic longitude: retrograde → direct
29lunar occultation: 0.9° south of the Moon (visible from Alaska, Siberia and the Arctic)
4east quadrature
25lunar occultation: 1.3° south of the Moon (visible from Baffin Island)
251.5° south of the Moon
30planetary conjunction: 1.2° north of Venus
211.7° south of the Moon
191.8° south of the Moon
230.6° south of the sixth-magnitude star 53 Arietis
4planetary conjunction: 2.7° south of Mercury
152.0° south of the Moon
122.3° south of the Moon
92.6° south of the Moon
16west quadrature
28maximum declination north: +18.15°
29stationary in ecliptic longitude: direct → retrograde
stationary in right ascension: direct → retrograde
52.8° south of the Moon
22.9° south of the Moon
302.9° south of the Moon
13opposition: magnitude +5.6, apparent diameter 3.68 arc-seconds
262.7° south of the Moon
232.7° south of the Moon


The dates, times and circumstances of all planetary and lunar phenomena were calculated from the JPL DE406 solar system ephemeris using the same rigorous methods that are employed in the compilation of publications such as The Astronomical Almanac.