Now is a good time to actually see the planet Uranus


Earth is between the planet and the sun, so, to our eyes, Uranus will seem brighter than it will any other time of the year.

Nonetheless, the fact that Uranus is at opposition is the crucial factor.

Uranus as seen by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1986.

What that means is that our planet is "between" Uranus and the sun, and the distant ice giant is at its closest to Earth.

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And though you should be able to see Uranus just using your eyes, you still may want to use binoculars or a telescope for the best views, according to Astronomy magazine.

Where should you look to find it? Besides the fact that the planet will be at opposition, there is also a new moon on the way. It's located in the constellation Pisces, and it has a blue-green hue. And if you think the planet's current name is ridiculous, just remember it was very almost named George (or rather, Georgium Sidus, for some Latin formality), because its discoverer, British astronomer William Herschel, was trying to suck up to his patron King George III.

For perspective, NASA says, if Earth was the size of a nickel, Uranus would be about as big as a softball.

For those stargazers who've put a little money into their hobby, the Uranus visitation gets even more exciting.