Planet Neptune

Neptune is in Capricorn right now
(image from Heavens Above website)

I got up early this morning to look for the planet Neptune with my binoculars. I’m not sure I saw it, or rather, I’m pretty sure I saw it and didn’t recognize it. My star chart only goes down to magnitude 6.5 so there were several stars near where Neptune was supposed to be that weren’t on my chart. (Higher numbers are dimmer, for example, I think I can see magnitude 9 with my binoculars, and the sun is magnitude -26 {Negative twenty-six}) Neptune is supposed to be magnitude 7.9, so it is very dim. You can see about magnitude 3 or 4 with the naked eye.
After I came back inside this morning, I made copies of all the charts in Nortons Star Atlas, so I can write on them. I was thinking, why not just write in the book? But I decided not to. And I have a color copier so they came out great! This astronomy hobby can get pretty expensive, when I started, I would just to go out and look with just my eyes and a map I downloaded from SKYMAPS.COM, now I’m zooming in on faint objects and my charts and binoculars aren’t good enough. It makes me wonder, if I can exceed Nortons Star Atlas with 10x binoculars, what do people with telescopes use? I must not have my facts straight…..
I need a telescope…

0 thoughts on “Planet Neptune

  1. I downloaded a database that shows all the objects down to magnitude 11.5 for Planetarium on my Palm Pilot. I can see what I was lookng at last night perfectly! Now I need to look again!I’m armed and dangerous!!!

  2. Hey Mark-I used to stargaze years ago.Here in the Northeast, planets always tend to be close to the horizon.Because of their magnitude they usually stick out like a sore thumb.I was always fascinated with the constellation Orion.Maybe it has something to do with my favorite star, Betelgeuse…Keep looking up!~michael

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