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Irene W. Pennington Planetarium

The Sky Tonight Update: Saturn at Opposition

17 Jul 2020, 16:00 UTC
The Sky Tonight Update:  Saturn at Opposition
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long within the constellation Sagittarius. It will be visible for much of the night, reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight.

This happens because when Saturn lies opposite the Sun in the sky, the solar system is lined up so that Saturn, the Earth and the Sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as Saturn.
This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons.

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