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When I listen to the Planetary Radio podcast, there is a section at the end where they suggest objects to look out for in the night sky. If I am in the UK, but they are talking about the USA, will I still be able to find the objects they are referring to?

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    $\begingroup$ Unless you can be more specific, the answer to your question is just going to be a big ole' "depends". $\endgroup$
    – David H
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidH and yet there are two answers already $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 23:47

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If they mention times of night then you have to figure out to what extent the time zone (BST/GMT vs the US time zones) makes any difference, but it shouldn't make more than an hour difference either way for an object that is moving sidereally with the rest of the night sky.

The main difference would be that the USA is at lower latitudes than the UK. Therefore there could be instances where an object with a small or southerly declination is better seen from the USA than the UK. Conversely, more of the sky is circumpolar from the UK.

Finally, if you are trying to see a specific event at a given time (UT), then of course it may well make a difference. The Sun could be up in the UK and down in the USA, or vice-versa.

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Supplementary answer in broad strokes for "events" rather than "objects":

I am in the UK, but they are talking about the USA, will I still be able to find the objects events they are referring to?

If it's a conjunction between the Moon and a star or planet: then the answer is "yes, mostly, but it will look a bit different/closer/further". The moon moves about 15° per day relative to the stars, the planets move way more slowly. In the 5 to 8 hours difference between evening in the US and the UK the Moon moves 3 to 5°. Since you are looking either 5-8 hours earlier (or 19-16 hours sooner) you can move the position of the Moon in a given chart ahead or back by the appropriate fraction of the distance to the following/previous day to see what a chart made for you will look like.

If it's a conjunction between the a planet and a star: Then it makes almost no difference unless it's incredibly close, or an occultation. If it's incredibly close or an occultation, then one needs a prediction for one's own location, there's no prediction that works for even any large chunk of the US.

Note that NY to LA is 3900 km, while NY to London is only 40% larger at 5600 km.

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