Wednesday, 16 October, 2019


Saturn’s rings visible as it begins closest pass by Earth

Saturn’s rings visible as it begins closest pass by Earth Saturn’s rings visible as it begins closest pass by Earth
Kristine Garrett | 10 July, 2019, 03:50

Here is how you can do it.

During this time Saturn, Earth and the sun will be in a straight line, with Earth in the center.

Saturn will be so close to Earth this month that its rings will be visible through a normal telescope. Saturn reaches opposition roughly 378 days, meaning each year it arrives 13 days later than its previous opposition.

The night of Monday, July 15 will give another great chance to see Saturn.

According to astronomy guide EarthSky.org, Saturn's opposition will peak tonight at 6pm BST (5pm UTC).

Sunset will not occur later today until after 9.16pm BST (8.16pm UTC). In short you can see the planet with the naked eye, however, it will look like a very bright star.

Saturn's opposition will provide good views of the planet during July, August and September.

So, what is the best way to see the planet and its rings tonight?

Saturn will be visible in the southeast sky Tuesday, according to EarthSky, and can be spotted in the "teapot" of the Sagittarius constellation. If you don't have a telescope, you could still see Saturn with the naked eye - it will look like a bright yellow-white star, according to Space.com. Because of this position, the planet in the night sky will appear extra bright.

A telescope or even binoculars will reveal Saturn's rings, which are made up of billions of ice particles that can be microscopically tiny - or as big as a boulder.

Bump up the magnification to 50-times and the rings will be much clearer and easier to distinguish. In this case, it's Saturn, and the line is nearly 900 million miles long.

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