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Waxing gibbous moon near planet Uranus on November 13


Tonight for November 13, 2013

Near-infrared view of the ice giant planet Uranus, its rings and some of its moons. Image via European Southern Observatory.

As the moon goes eastward in front of the constellations of the Zodiac, it’ll appear in the general direction of the planet Uranus tonight (November 13, 2013). When it comes to Uranus, most stargazers need binoculars, a moon-free night and a detailed sky chart to see this distant world that’s 20 times farther from the sun than Earth is. Although we show Uranus in front of Pisces on the sky chart at the top of the page, you probably won’t see this faint constellation in tonight’s blinding moonlight. But – if you can recognize Uranus’ point in the sky as seen on our chart tonight – you might try your luck in a dark country sky in the last week of November and in early December, after the moon has dropped out of the evening sky.

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If you are familiar with the Great Square of Pegasus and the Circlet of Pisces, make use of these star patterns to star-hop to the general vicinity of Uranus. Uranus resides in front of the constellation Pisces and very near the ecliptic. This detailed sky chart is your ticket to finding the planet Uranus.

Uranus is the seventh planet outward from the sun. Remember, it’s only visible to the unaided eye on a moonless, inky-black night. Even at that, Uranus appears no brighter than the faintest visible stars.

The moon – presently in front of the constellation Pisces – is waxing toward full and will be near the Pleiades star cluster on the night of the full moon. Unfortunately, the full moon and the peak night of the Leonid meteor shower will happen concurrently in 2013.

Bottom line: On the night of November 13, 2013, the moon is located along our line of sight to the faint planet Uranus. But don’t expect to see Uranus in the moon’s glare.

Easily locate stars and constellations during any day and time with EarthSky’s Planisphere.

What is the ecliptic?