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How to View the Opposition of Saturn | The Ringed Planet at its Biggest & Brightest

17 Jul 2020, 15:49 UTC
How to View the Opposition of Saturn | The Ringed Planet at its Biggest & Brightest
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Photo: Sanborn/Neugent/Lowell Discovery Telescope/NSF
By Madison Mooney
Just as Jupiter did on the evening of July 13 and into the morning of July 14, Saturn will appear at its biggest and brightest in the sky when viewed from Earth on Monday, July 20.
What is the opposition of Saturn?
In astronomy terms, opposition refers to the middle point of the best time of year to view a particular planet. This year, the moment of Saturn’s opposition will be at 3 pm AZ/PDT (7 pm ADT, 6 pm EDT, 5 pm CDT, 4 pm MDT). At opposition, the Earth lies between Saturn and the Sun, and so they appear opposite each other in our sky. On the day of opposition, Saturn rises when the Sun sets. It is also the time when the Earth is closest to Saturn in our orbit, making Saturn appear somewhat bigger and brighter in the sky than usual. This close proximity to Earth is called perigee.

How can I view the opposition of Saturn?
You will need a telescope to see Saturn’s rings, but it will be visible to the naked eye as a bright “star” with a yellowish hue. Saturn will appear in the ...

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