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How to watch Uranus sightings live this weekend

If you have some free time this weekend, why not listen to an astronomy show showing astronomers investigating the distant giant ice planet Uranus? Experts will use a ground-based telescope to observe the atmosphere of this less studied planet, located 1.9 billion kilometers away, and build the most detailed infrared map to date.

The Royal Astronomical Society is hosting a three-day event that broadcasts Uranus observations live using NASA’s infrared telescope (IRTF) on Mauna Kea in Hawai’i. The sightings, led by Leicester Ph.D. student Emma Thomas, will investigate the planet’s mysterious infrared auroras.

The final image of Uranus taken by the Voyager 2 space probe on January 25, 1986. The spacecraft was then about 1 million kilometers from the planet.
The final image of Uranus taken by the Voyager 2 space probe on January 25, 1986. The spacecraft was then about 1 million kilometers from the planet. NASA / JPL

“During these three days of observations, we will be building the most detailed infrared map of Uranus we have ever made (a full 360 degree longitude), and in doing so, we hope to fully detect and map the southern infrared auroras for the first time, ”Thomas said.“ My area of ​​research is to study and fully map infrared auroras at Uranus, which is done by analyzing spectra (looking at the different lengths of light wave received from Uranus) from telescopes such as the IRTF, Keck (also on Hawai’i), and the Very Large Telescope in Chile.

“The aurora of Uranus has been a long-standing mystery since the first detection of near infrared emissions in 1993, but over the past four years we have started to take the first steps to understand the weird and wonderful auroras. that we see in Uranus. . “

How to watch Uranus live stream

The livestream will include commentary on Uranus from various experts in the UK and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). It runs from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10, from 4 a.m.ET (1 a.m.PT) to 11:55 a.m.ET (8:55 a.m.PT) each day.

You can log in either using the video link at the top of this page or by going to the SAR’s YouTube channel. And if it’s too early for you, don’t worry – the feeds will be available at the end of each session so you can catch up on them later.

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