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Uranus will be visible to the naked

eye tonight -- here's how to see it

Alex Lasker, AOL.com

Grab a pair of binoculars and your lamest jokes because Uranus will be visible to the naked eye on Thursday night.

The ice giant will reach its point of opposition with the sun on October 19, marking the planet's closest approach to Earth.

This combined with tonight's dim, waning crescent moon will make Uranus appear much brighter than any other time of the year.

Uranus will begin to rise in the sky during sunset on October 19 and will appear directly overhead around midnight.

If you're not sure exactly where to spot the planet, National Geographic advises stargazers to look up in the southeast sky towards Pisces and scan the constellation for a tiny blueish-green disc that should pop out among the dimmer stars.

According to NASA, the 7th planet from the Sun will likely be bright enough to be seen unassisted from a dark location (sorry, city dwellers) but if not, a pair of binoculars should suffice.

"It's visible all night long and its blue-green color is unmistakable," said Jane Houston Jones of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "It may be bright enough to see with your naked eye -- and for sure in binoculars."


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