I can locate all of the planets other than Uranus and Neptune. This is mainly because they are very dim and I live where there is just enough light pollution so that I can't spot them. I have a Gysker 70mm telescope and a camera able to take detailed pictures of most of the planets. The only problem I have run into is the fact that I can't always locate what I am looking for. How do I locate Uranus and Neptune? How can I tell them apart from other stars that might look similar to a deep blue sphere?

  • $\begingroup$ Why do people keep downvoting me for no reason? I'm looking for comments and answers. Please don't downvote. $\endgroup$
    – Oscar
    Apr 13, 2022 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ Under high enoug magnification, they will have an obvious visible size. You can use astrometry.net to plate solve the image to see if you're in the right area. $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2022 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ This turned out to be helpful. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Oscar
    Apr 13, 2022 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ Right now both are on the wrong side of the sun, so you can't see them. Wait six months! $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Apr 13, 2022 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


Right now you won't. Both are on the "wrong" side of the sun and so not easily observable from Earth. At the moment (early 2020s) they are in the constellation of Aries and Pices which are visible in the northern hemisphere fall.

Both Uranus and Neptune are below naked eye visibility. To photograph them you need to use software (such as stellarium) or a star chart and an ephemeris to predict their position, then you can print out a finder chart and use that to locate the planet.

Be aware, that with your kind of equipment you have an absolute limit of of about 2 arcsecond resolution. Uranus has a maximum size of 3.7 arcseconds (perhaps just enough to present as a very small disc) and Neptune has a size of 2.2 arcseconds (it will appear starlike)

You can confirm that you have located the planet by observing it on several nights. The planet will notably move across the background of stars if viewed over a few weeks.

You can use astrometry.net to identify stars in your photographs, and so distinguish planets from stars.

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    $\begingroup$ “The planet will notably move across the background of stars if viewed over a few weeks.” Hence the name “planet” (planḗtēs, “wanderer”). $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2022 at 21:05

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