> cosmo-astro > physique-des-astres > looking-at-uranus-thunderf00t

Looking at URANUS!

Thunderf00t - 2011-08-24

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Uranus is frequently overlooked and for many reasons.  Firstly, lets just say its name hasn't phonetically aged well.  Secondly it's small and faint, barely visible to the naked eye, and even the most powerful telescopes show little more than a tiny featureless grey-green disk.

Most powerful telescopes will show the five main moons of Uranus, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon.  The innermost of these Miranda, which has, if memory serves the highest cliffs in the solar system (due to being previously (presumably) smashed by an impact) and has an orbital period of about 1.5 days.  That means you should be able to easily see its movement over a night.

So it was that I set out with my scope on the evening of 22nd Aug 2011 to see what could be captured.  I decided to head up to an observatory site that had previously seemed good up near the top of the somewhat active volcano, Lassen Peak.  The site is high, almost 2 miles up, but the seeing was less than perfect (a very constant ~ 5mile an hour wind, which was probably a blessing in that it bought warmer air from somewhere, but was also a curse due to the wind chill- I was surrounded by snow fields!).  Nonetheless, at prime focus of the 11in CPC1100 with ~1000 iso and 4 second exposure on a canon 60D seemed to bring out easily at least 4 of the moons of Uranus.

After that, I just had to maintain the kit for 8 or so hour.  A pain in the ass, as there were several pieces of kit that all need to work or the night would be 'lost'.  So you basically have to periodically check all the batteries on the various time lapse and tracking kit are working functionally.  The bottom line is you can actually get quite a lot of sleep, but its horribly disjointed, the practical upshot of which was the next day I was wiped out to the point where I had actually planned to head up into Oregon to do something, but for the first time ever on a road trip I did something I'd never countenanced before.  I stayed a night in a motel!!  First time in 5 years!  A motel 6 I should add!  All I wanted was somewhere where I could get a shower, a bed for the night, and damn, just sit back for a moment, put my feet up, and have a glass of wine......ahhhhhh.

I was REALLY happy when I processed this, not really for what I had hoped to achieve, which was to get the motion of the moons, as while it was visible, it wasn't that great.  But what great the motion of the whole Uranus system against the background stars.  I knew this MIGHT be visible, but I really didn't expect it to looks as cool as it did!  Now it should be said that most of the motion you see here is probably not due to the motion of Uranus, but due to the motion of the Earth.  Nonetheless, its still really cool!

And sure, all this footage is creative commons, attribution, share-alike,
Attribution, Thunderf00t

Seeing Uranus - 2014-01-30

I really like observing Uranus.

ellobec - 2014-11-06

I like observing all uranuses

stiepan holkien - 2017-12-18

Looking at Uranus from Mianus, someone's got to make it happen.

Jeb Kerman - 2016-11-16

Just about anyone can see Uranus on any given night.

daskraut - 2011-09-24

beavis: "uranus is cool!" butt-head: "thank you!"

Felipe Gómez - 2012-07-21

Astronomy and poetry fits together perfectly. Beautiful and outstanding, pure art, a climax for perception... in one minute. I'm absolutely delighted with such simple and passionate work you've done.

The legendary Klobb - 2017-03-16

That's quite a powerful telescope there!

Tim D. Morand - 2011-08-24

Thanks for: "Look to the skies and see the celestial ballet in your backyard!"

Itsyourfault - 2011-08-25


immanuelscholz - 2016-10-11

Simply fascinating.. I GOT to get out of town some night and start stargazing. So much light around here :(

Goalatio - 2011-08-24

I can't see Uranus very well through my 8" dob, It just looks like a blue tinted star.

Linnéa Brandt - 2012-01-14

"I spending the night, to look at uranus" e____e

Chantzehao - 2011-08-24

Was expecting "I love the excitement of Uranus"

Comp1337e - 2011-08-26

Wow, that is really cool, that you can see that one moon moving "away" from Uranus.

Desertphile - 2011-08-26

"Looking at URANUS! " With a mirror?

Jassim Lari - 2013-01-27

Thank you very much bro for this amazing video :)

MartianStories - 2011-08-24

OMG, TFoot, you got some hella awesome vid of Uranus and her moons! That's VERY impressive and gorgeous stuff! THANKS FOR POSTING!

KaptenN - 2011-08-25

"Our celetial backyard". That's quite a poetic view of the solar system. I like it.

DaemianLucifer - 2011-08-24

0:21 and later,that is how I started pronouncing it long ago just to stop all the jokes.More people should adopt that pronunciation.

DaemianLucifer - 2011-08-24

@Mopperty: And you can smell it!

Elizabeta H - 2011-08-24

that was beautiful, thank you for sharing those images

Iain Evans - 2011-08-24

The word Uranus still makes me chuckle. I'm so immature :)

kjctubestuff - 2011-08-25

I love seeing the little moons traveling along with it. Wonderful footage. :o)

aidsneger moetendood - 2011-08-26

@MrSyrett thanks :D I didnt even look at the other comments ^^ i just placed my comment the moment i saw the title :)

Paul Warelis - 2011-08-25

Ur-anus is pretty bright. Clean one might say. heh... Fantastic, tf00t! I love what you're doing

Blizzard56k - 2011-08-24

I love these and I'm sure they take a good amount of time and work. Thanks Thunderf00t!

YonOtto - 2011-08-24


gdjsky01 - 2011-08-28

Lassen? That's where I've observed from. Amazing skies (mag 7+) and good seeing. Great stuff. thanks!

NLRoyboy - 2011-08-25


Super Mega SS 88 Ultra Rightwing Purity Death Squad - 2011-08-24

@eveningniteshade We'd have a lot more videos "covering" Stephen Fry were that the case.

JENNY - 2011-08-24


KamiKagutsuchi - 2011-09-09

I can't stop laughing at the title.. so immature xD

danryan92 - 2011-08-24

thunderf00t - How about a tutorial of how you do your amazing night sky timelapses of the milky way?

Territomauvais - 2011-08-24

@1992jamo I'm so confused. What? xD

TheRationalizer - 2011-08-31

Fantastic, give us more of this stuff :)

shade421 - 2011-08-25

That was Beautiful!!! Thank you for all the work you do!!!!

Gamer iOslo - 2011-08-24

Thank you for taking the time to post this. Beautiful timelapse.

hmpeter - 2011-08-28

Beautiful, thank you!

lordlandraid - 2011-08-28

@whynotzoidburg That's fine. Sometimes a joke needs an explanation :)

Data Jack - 2011-08-25

That was truly breathtaking, dude. Thanks for sharing.

stovetop32 - 2011-08-26

Beautiful work, TF. Thanks for the continued effort on YouTube. This is how the next generation of scientifically literate and inquisitive minds will be crafted. Cheers to a continued job well done.

Rael0505 - 2011-08-24

Love all of your videos thunderf00t! Thanks for everything!

RealSpaceModels - 2011-08-24

The video of Uranus is really awesome! I've never seen that movement against the background stars shown so clearly. Thanks for this treat!

Foebane72 - 2011-08-24

Oh, Thunderf00t, I thought you knew how to pronounce it. Pronounce it "ur uh nus" and you can avoid all the pathetic toilet humour comments here.

lordirek1 - 2011-08-25

Beautiful, just beautiful. The solar system, and beyond, makes me go a little weak in the knees. As Dr. Tyson says, you, and I, are composed of stardust....

Andybaby - 2011-08-25

amazing footage, thanks!

patchesdf - 2011-08-25

I was hoping you were going to upload something. Thank you!

bary1234 - 2011-08-24

Thanks for posting. Its cool you do stuff like this. We should all be like you, all interested in science and studying this magnificent universe around us.

EyeLean5280 - 2011-08-25

Cool! Thank you and more, please!

Iain Walton - 2011-08-24

I like when thunderfoot looks at uranus in my celestial backyard.

Gyohdon - 2011-08-24

These videos give me more and more that feeling of connectedness with the All. Thanks tf0!

AnAccount - 2011-08-25

how can you see the stars and the sun at the same time? from 0:37 on ward?