Uranus and Neptune in 2009

This article gives directions for finding Uranus and Neptune in 2009. If you've never seen these planets before, you might want to read our general instructions first.

Uranus and Neptune spend 2009 on the Pisces/Aquarius border and in Capricornus, respectively. Click above to download a detailed, printable chart in PDF format.
S&T Illustration
Uranus and Neptune spend 2009 on the Pisces/Aquarius border and in Capricornus, respectively. Both planets are south of the celestial equator, and never get very high in the sky for people at mid-northern latitudes. So it's important to make the best of the relatively short window of opportunity for viewing them.

Neptune reaches opposition to the Sun on August 17th, and Uranus on September 17th. These are the dates when the planets rise around sunset and set around sunrise, and reach their highest in the sky in the middle of the night. Neptune is reasonably well placed in the evening sky from August to mid-November, and Uranus from September through December. They can be observed several months earlier if you're willing to get up before dawn.

Jupiter, the second-brightest planet, spends most of 2009 in close proximity to Neptune, which is just one ten-thousandth as bright. The two fit together in a binocular field for much of the year, and in a low-power telescopic field from May through July and again in late December.

Click here to download a detailed, printable chart for both planets in PDF format.