Observing Uranus and Neptune with Binoculars and Small Telescopes

  • Richard W. SchmudeJrEmail author
Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

This chapter describes how one can estimate the brightness and color of Uranus and Neptune with either binoculars or a telescope having a diameter of under 0.1 meters (4 inches). (Larger instruments are needed for Pluto. This and other matters are described in the next chapter.) This chapter starts with a description of the human eye, followed by discussions on binoculars, telescopes, how to find Uranus and Neptune in the sky, using the visual brightness method, and making visual magnitude estimates and color estimates. This chapter contains also a list of comparison stars for both visual magnitude estimates and photoelectric photometry magnitude studies of these planets. Photoelectric photometry is discussed in the next chapter.

The Human Eye

The human eye is a remarkable organ. A diagram of the eye is shown in Figure 4.1. I will describe how the lens, pupil, retina, and fovea centralis work. These descriptions should enable the observer to make better...


Magnitude Estimate Comparison Star Visibility Factor Visual Magnitude Exit Pupil 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gordon CollegeBarnesvileUSA

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