Early Tuesday (June 28), Neptune will enter a reversal when the planetary movement east of the night sky stops and its westward campaign begins.
After Tuesday, Neptune will “launch a western loop that will last until early December,” writes geologist Chris Vaughan, a novice astronomer at SkySafari Software who manages Space.com‘s Night Sky calendar.
According to Vaughan, Sky viewers can view Neptune’s blue disk invisible on television (marked in a green circle above). Look at the southeastern sky between 2, and 4 am local time to slow down the gas giant.
The exact time of the event varies depending on your specific location, so you may want to check out a sky viewing app like SkySafari or software like Starry Night to check out the times. Our selection of the best stargazing apps can help you with your planning.
The apparent “movement” of the planets in the sky, known as the reversal, is caused by the Earth’s orbit around the sun and how our view changes during the Earth’s annual orbit.
“The reversal loops occur when the Earth, in a fast-moving orbit around the sun, passes through distant planets ‘in orbit’,” writes Vaughan. “Making them look like they were retreating to the stars.”
When you leave the sun, the planet spends a lot of time reverting the moving accordion to the sky, viewing the website at In-The-Sky.org. Neptune’s retrograde motion will end on December 03, 2022.
If you are looking for a telescope or binoculars to view the planets, our guidelines for the best telescope deals and television deals can now help. Our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses can help you prepare to take the following view of skywatching alone.