Finder Chart for Neptune for 2010, with positions marked on the first day of each month (click for full-size image, 52 KB). A Southern hemisphere view can be found here (55 KB). Where the planet is too close to the Sun to be visible, the path is shown by a dashed line.
Neptune reached opposition to the Sun (when it is brightest in the sky for the year and closest to the Earth) on August 20th, when its apparent magnitude was +7.8 and its apparent diameter was 2".4 (2.4 arcseconds). The planet was then 29.006 Astronomical Units (4.339 billion kms or 2.696 billion miles) from Earth. On opposition day the planet was positioned less than 10' (10 arcminutes) from the border with Aquarius.
Stars on the chart are shown down to magnitude +8.5. Right Ascension and Declination co-ordinates are marked around the border, for cross-referencing with a star atlas. Printer-friendly (greyscale) versions of the chart are available for Northern (25 KB) and Southern hemisphere (26 KB) views.
The apparent magnitudes of selected stars in the region (down to magnitude +8.5) are shown in brackets in this chart (50 KB).
Copyright Martin J Powell February 2009