A hole in the space-time continuum. (Notes by M.C. O'Connor.)
03 January 2011
I discovered an excellent new astronomy blog called Prime Time. I was looking for help with Uranus. Uranus is the favorite planet of schoolkids everywhere. They always ask if you have pictures of Uranus. Nowadays you are supposed to say Uranus like "urine us" which isn't any better. The alternative is "your AH-nus" which just sounds like you are being snooty. Tonight, with the help of the description and map on the aforementioned Prime Time blog I was able to see Uranus. This week it is in the same binocular field with Jupiter, and with a little patience I was able to pick out the far distant planet once known as "The Georgian Star." I'm lucky to live in a place with dark skies. Even though I live in town and there are all the usual sources of light pollution (like streetlamps and porch lights) visibility is still very good. The hardest part is keeping the binoculars steady! Once I could do that I could see Uranus easily. The bluish-green tint the planet is known for would jump out at me when I averted my eyes from the spot. Uranus is more than a billion miles from Earth, closer to two billion, in fact. That's a long way for the sunlight to get there and back again so we could see it this week.