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 Finder chart for Neptune during 2011 (Copyright Martin J Powell, 2011)


Finder Chart for Neptune for 2011, with positions marked on the first day of each month (a Southern hemisphere view can be found here). Where the planet was too close to the Sun to be visible, the path is shown as a dashed line. Neptune was positioned close to the Capricornus-Aquarius border throughout 2011, a little to the East of the star Greek lower-case symbol 'Mu' Cap (Mu Capricorni, magnitude +5.2) and North of the star Greek lower-case letter 'Iota' Aqr (Iota Aquarii, mag. +4.3). Binocular searches for the planet were best started from the Eastern end ('tail end') of Capricornus, 'star hopping' one's way from Deneb Algiedi (Greek lower-case symbol 'Delta' Capricorni) North-eastwards to Greek lower-case symbol 'Mu' Capricorni and then to the planet.

In 2011, Neptune reached opposition to the Sun (when it is brightest in the sky for the year and closest to the Earth) on August 22nd, when its apparent magnitude was +7.8 and its apparent diameter was 2".4 (2.4 arcseconds). The planet was then 28.995 AU (4,337 million kms or 2,695 million miles) from Earth.

Much of the star field in the chart is easily contained within a binocular field of view (which typically ranges from 5 to 9). Stars are shown down to magnitude +8.5. Right Ascension and Declination co-ordinates are marked around the border, for cross-referencing in a star atlas. Printer-friendly (greyscale) versions of the chart are available for Northern and Southern hemisphere views.

Click here to see a 'clean' star map of the area (i.e. without planet path); a printable version can be found here.

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Appearance of the Naked-Eye Planets

Planetary Movements through the Zodiac


Copyright  Martin J Powell  February 2009; modified December 2009, March 2011, February 2012

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