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Deep Sky Observing
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  Neptune: Astronomy: Neptune - Blue World-VIEWING THE BLUE WORLD
Posted on Saturday, December 04 @ 16:37:42 CST by astronomy
 
 
  Neptune

VIEWING THE BLUE WORLD

Seeing Neptune is not particularly difficult—almost any telescope can reach 8th magnitude. Knowing exactly where to look, however, can certainly be a challenge for beginners. Astronomy magazines regularly publish finder charts for Neptune, and any sky-charting software will give its current position.

Until about 2012, the planet can be seen in Capricornus, a relatively star-poor region, making it easier to identify.

When you locate Neptune, chances are you will recognize it. At moderate power (about 70x), the planet shows a tiny disk and it appears distinctly blue-gray, because of the methane in its atmosphere. At higher power (150x or more), you can see the 2.3 arcsecond disk more clearly. If you are hunting for moons, Triton is the only possibility. At 13th magnitude, it looks just like a star and is difficult to find. It calls for a telescope of 8 inches (200 mm) aperture or larger.

 
 
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Neptune
 
 


 
 
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