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Something unexpected and special is happening to Uranus this week

Published Oct 21st, 2021 10:18PM EDT
hunter's moon
Image: revers_jr/Adobe

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According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the dazzlingly bright and full moon many of us saw last night — and which should continue for a few more nights — is called the Hunter’s Moon for an obvious reason. That’s because this full moon in October, which also happens to be the first full moon of autumn, marked the start of that time of year when hunters started collecting and storing up food for the winter months.

This phenomenon, however, doesn’t just give us a beautiful moon to enjoy. If you’re lucky, the illumination might also reveal shooting stars, as well as even a view of Uranus.

Uranus and the Hunter’s Moon

The latter is especially noteworthy, since Uranus is not regarded as one of the five planets said to be visible from Earth with the naked eye. According to, however, the planet actually will be, for some of you at least. But it requires knowing where to look, as well as a bit of luck.

The moon, as we said, became full on October 20. While that brightness might serve to outshine Uranus, which is close to the moon this week, the proximity might also make it easier to spot. From Uranus “will be closest to the moon on Thursday (Oct. 21) at 6:39 pm EDT, according to the skywatching site” Even once we’re beyond Thursday, though, there will be a few more chances to see Uranus.

Get a good look at Uranus

On Friday, for example, the planet will still be in close proximity to the moon. Moreover, the moon won’t be as bright — meaning, you’ve got a better chance of seeing Uranus unobscured by the moon’s brightness.

“Uranus will be shining at a magnitude of 5.7,” reports. That’s just barely brighter than the farthest-away objects that a person with perfect vision can see at night. “If you live near any source of light pollution, especially in or near big cities, you won’t be able to see Uranus without a telescope.”

The thing to keep in mind: Keep an eye out for a teal spot in the sky. But you’ll need to be looking up for it at the darkest time of night possible in order to spot Uranus (which is, fun fact, the third-biggest planet in our solar system). Uranus should actually be easier to spot intermittently through early November. Newsweek suggests starting your search in the sky by focusing “slightly to the north of due east, to where the near-full moon rises.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.