As much as I would love for this to be a joke headline, unfortunately it’s not, and I’ve been told by my editor not to be too childish or crude.
So, if you want to see Uranus, look up at the night sky. You’ll be able to get a really good view of it, see how big it is and maybe even get a few glimpses of the atmosphere or environment that Uranus is filled with, depending how big your telescope is.
Yes, Uranus is currently visible to many, many people right now, October 26 – just in time for Halloween! So, y’know, if you need a last minute outfit for the weekend…
The planet, which is the seventh from the sun, is visible to everyone in the UK, sitting comfortably just to the left of the moon.
Last night was a full moon, so it’ll still be pretty bright tonight, making it even easier to sport Uranus than ever before, which should appear as a small, turquoise-coloured dot.
It’ll be visible to the naked eye, according to Metro, but Uranus will be much easier to see if you’ve got a telescope or a decent pair of binoculars. And you don’t want to miss out on that bad boy, so if you’ve not got either of those maybe go round to a friend’s house so you can look at Uranus together. It’s always better to get a second opinion after all.
According to experts, Uranus always looks better and is more visible in October because, at this time of year, the planet is in opposition to the sun. It will rise when the sun sets and should be visible throughout the night, as long as there’s not too much cloud cover.
The best place to see Uranus, then, is in a remote spot, preferably somewhere with minimal light pollution. Somewhere like a dark field or the lay-by of a quiet country road. But make sure you wrap up warm, folks, it’s going to be a cold one tonight.
Now, all joking aside, Uranus definitely smells of farts.
Earlier this year, astronomers carried out a study in which it was revealed Uranus’s upper atmosphere is covered in hydrogen sulfide – a molecule which emits a rotten egg smell and is usually found in human flatulence.
The discovery of the delightful stench, however, does expand not only what we know about Uranus, but also gives us an insight to how the solar system itself came into existence according to IFLScience!
The study’s lead author, Professor Patrick Irwin, from the University of Oxford, said:
We have definitely detected the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas above the main cloud deck, and this is the smoking gun that the main cloud deck is mostly made by hydrogen sulfide ice.
This has raised questions about the formation of planets themselves. Where Neptune and Uranus are located in the solar system (18 times further away from the sun than Earth), ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are sold, so they could have been absorbed by other planets.
However, the new discovery regarding Uranus’ atmosphere means the four giant plants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) probably formed where they are, and haven’t really moved since, opening up new theories about planetary formation and migration.
Still, at least there’s now a valid excuse as to why Uranus stinks like it does.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.