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45 votes
Accepted

Why wasn't the planet Uranus recognized by ancient cultures?

The source of light that is Uranus was observed as far back as 128 BC. However it was misidentified as star as late as the 1760's. Then it was observed by Herschel in 1781, who also misidentified it,...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

How much do the constellations change if the viewpoint moves within a solar system?

Yes, the night sky formed by everything outside the solar system will look the same from every planet in our solar system. Similarly an observer in any other system will not see a difference between ...
planetmaker's user avatar
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27 votes

Why wasn't the planet Uranus recognized by ancient cultures?

I like ScienceSnake's comment - a combination of faintness and its comparatively small apparent motion. It was observed in 1690 by John Flamsteed on several occasions, but because it moved so little ...
Bumptious Q Bangwhistle's user avatar
21 votes

How much do the constellations change if the viewpoint moves within a solar system?

No, it will change! The amount it will change will depend on how far the star you are looking at is from Earth. Here is an image comparison of the same field taken from the New Horizons probe (...
Mike's user avatar
  • 368
15 votes

Why wasn't the planet Uranus recognized by ancient cultures?

It would require a lucky coincidence As noted by others, Uranus is faint and easy to misidentify as a fixed star. However, Bourtembourg 2013 claims that Uranus was observed already in 128 BC by ...
Martin Modrák's user avatar
14 votes

What is the ring of light around the moon and which star seen near it?

If the photo is from today (24 November 2023), then the "star" is Jupiter, a planet. It's hard to see any ring around the moon in the photo, but rings are typically due to high clouds, and ...
Dr Chuck's user avatar
  • 4,349
10 votes

What is the ring of light around the moon and which star seen near it?

tl;dr astrophotographers shouldn't carry their cameras in their pockets :-) I took photos of the Moon and Jupiter with my cell phone last night as well. I keep my phone in my pocket and the lens ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.7k
9 votes

Is there a star everywhere you look?

Only about 1 in $10^{12}$ sightlines end on the surface of a star (or 1 in 50,000 if you include the Sun). The rest end where/when the cosmic microwave background formed. Details There are thought to ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 155k
6 votes

What is the ring of light around the moon and which star seen near it?

Answering only the 2nd question, "There is a star near the moon. Is this Venus?", as others have noted, it's not Venus, it's Jupiter. But it's interesting to note that, assuming the moon in ...
scottbb's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes
Accepted

Orion constellation shape

Just look at how Orion looks in the Sky. I added the lines in yellow showing the (slightly deformed rectangle) based on this image by By Mouser on Wikipedia CC-BY: while the white lines are the usual ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 19.9k
5 votes

Steadily bright light, moving in sky before sunrise

Your question was posted December 21 evening (ET). Heavens Above (using @ProfRob's link to Heavens Above for location (lat=41.9789, lon=-72.5755) and time zone (tz=EST)) and selecting Morning for ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.7k
4 votes

What is the ring of light around the moon and which star seen near it?

The ring you are referring to is called the Moon Ring. Although not clearly visible in your picture. Attached below is one I clicked on the night of 24th November 2023 from my phone. The ring appears ...
Disip Chaturvedi's user avatar
2 votes

What year will Gamma Cephei become the North Star?

That's about right. There are several motions of the axis of Earth's rotation. There is precession (with a period of 25772 yr), but there is also nutation. The nutation of the Earth adds a small ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
1 vote
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Can anyone point me to pictures of a region of the night sky during a total eclipse and with the sun not present?

This isn't quite what you want, but perhaps shows what a remarkable observation this was. Here you can see a simulated solar disc, and a star "d" (without deflection) that is just "...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
1 vote
Accepted

How bright would an object need to be in order to block out stars at night?

About magnitude -17, or about 100 times brighter than the moon now. I've found reference to the sky brightness at full moon as being about magnitude 18 per square arcsecond (and equivalent to light ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
1 vote
Accepted

Identify the bright object to the left of the moon

Yes, I think it is Jupiter. The night seems cloudy, so we can rule out all the stars. Furthermore the apparent magnitude of that planet seems similar to Jupiter, -2.65. Venus has comparable magnitude, ...
Arjun's user avatar
  • 1,472
1 vote

Seen over 15 strange lights flying in a straight line

That was a Starlink train, a group of SpaceX Starlink internet satellites previously deployed from a Falcon rocket and slowly spreading out into a line as they inch towards their target orbits. ...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar

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