Stargazing: Saturn in opposition

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

On April 28, Saturn and the sun will be on opposite sides of the sky. Astronomers call this "opposition." During opposition the sun, Earth and Saturn are lined up in a straight line with Earth in the middle. This happens about every 13 months. During opposition, the ring world rises in the east around sunset, is high in the south around midnight and sets around dawn.

This week, the golden-colored ringed planet can be found about 20 degrees above the southeastern horizon and about 15 degrees to the lower left of Virgo's bright blue-white star Spica at 10 p.m.

During the weeks before and after opposition, this exquisite jewel will be unusually big and bright because Earth and Saturn are as close as they will get to each other all year, about 818 million miles apart.

The best view of Saturn and its rings through a backyard telescope, however, will be around midnight, when the ring world is high above the turbulent air near the horizon.

science


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here