The sky scene, October 6 evening

The Moon went less than a degree south of Neptune on October 3, occulting it for Antarctica and New Zealand; and tomorrow, a day past Full, will go more widely (4 degrees) south of Uranus, which will be at opposition on October 19.

So you can tell that Uranus, which passed Neptune in 1993, has now left the even slower planet behind by about three days of the Moon’s travel, or about 37 degrees.

I’m quite a long way toward readying my book that I shall probably call A Longer View of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, with charts for years ahead, though it keeps surprising me how many more curiosities there are to point out about the movements of these planets.  And I’m at the moment typing with few fingers, having had this morning one of my thousand-mile-or-so bicycle crashes – I hit a concrete obstacle that refused to get out of the way – so that my face is a battleground of bandages and some of my fingers are taped together and I’m slower even than the remote planets.  Well, they’re not as slow as you might expect: even though they take 84 and 165 years to get around their orbits, Uranus and Neptune move at about 6.8 and 5.4 kilometers a second.  If I and the concrete traffic-calmer had met at that sort of speed there wouldn’t be much left of either of us.

 

8 thoughts on “The sky scene, October 6 evening”

  1. I just had to forward this entry to an old high school buddy of mine because as stale as the jokes are about Uranus, he always manages to squeeze out one more chuckle over it. Another astronomy site notes that you can even see it with a cheap pair of binoculars, or as my friend might say, all you need to do is squat over a mirror. In my heyday of telescoping I once made out Neptune, but haven’t been there again in ages. Gotta watch out for those immobile concrete obstacles. My friend failed to arrive to class one day. The teacher asked me, “why?” I told her he got hit in the ass by a moving vehicle. She said I shouldn’t say that, but say ‘rectum’ instead. “Wrecked him??!! Nearly killed him”. And with that said, I await the rising of the just past by only hours full moon, sparing you anymore asstronomy jokes.

  2. Darn, I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I hope you’ll heal quickly and well, without too much pain.

    I’m looking forward to the outer planets book!

  3. Good thing you didn’t hit at orbital speeds and fragment, There would be more space junk and no blog! Heal well.

    1. Get well soon – greetings from Finland. Happy to hear you are in one piece again.

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