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 Finder chart for Neptune during 2012 (Copyright Martin J Powell, 2012)

Finder Chart for Neptune for 2012, 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. Ideally, searches for Neptune should be carried out on Moonless nights, i.e. in the two-week period centred on the New Moon in any given month.

In 2012, Neptune reached opposition to the Sun (when it is brightest in the sky for the year and closest to the Earth) on August 24th, when its apparent magnitude was +7.8 and its apparent diameter was 2".4 (2.4 arcseconds). The planet was then 28.984 AU (4,336 million kms or 2,694 million miles) from Earth.

Much of the star field in the chart should be 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) and 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

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