Jupiter & Uranus

Jupiter is very prominent in the night sky at the moment.

It rises late evening in the northeast and is almost at its highest very high in the south just before dawn.
It is so bright you cannot mistake it for anything else, much the brightest object in the night sky at magnitude -2.7.
Until Venus rises in the early hours, which is much brighter at magnitude -4.57.

Jupiter reaches opposition on the 3rd of November when it will be closest to Earth and at its biggest and brightest at magnitude -2.9 for the year.
In the diagram below, I have plotted the path of Jupiter from the 1st of August to December the 31st, shown in yellow, just south of the ecliptic as it moved through Aries.
Jupiter is now moving retrograde (east to west) as the Earth overtakes it.

Not far away to the east of Jupiter is the much fainter distant ice giant Uranus, also in Aries.
This is much fainter at magnitude +5.4, so will require binoculars or a small telescope to identify it.
A telescope reveals it as a very small blue-green disk.

Uranus, which reaches opposition on the 13th of November is also moving retrograde.
I have shown its path as a blue line, just south of the 4th magnitude star Delta Arietis, which will help guide you to it.


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