"A Planet Named George and How to Find It Next Week...Maybe"

Scheduled air date: 2000 Jul 31-Aug 06

The first planet to be discovered in modern times (A.D. 1781), Uranus was originally named "George" after England's King George III by its discoverer, Sir William Herschel.  Next week, it will be at its closest—2.83 billion km/1.76 billion mi.—to Earth for the year 2000, and will thus be brightest and easiest to see.  While it is possible to see with the unaided eye under dark skies, it is best viewed through a pair of binoculars or telescope.  The magnified inset shows the surrounding star field for easier identification.
(Shown around midnight of any day this week for mid-Northern latitudes.  Inset shows Uranus's position for the nights of August 1st, 6th and 11th.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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