- July Is the Best Time to See Saturn and Its Rings This Year
- What Planets Can Be Seen Without a Telescope?
July Is the Best Time to See Saturn and Its Rings This Year
Five visible planets from naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupitercan the great escape theme song
Saturn is the second-biggest planet in our solar system , boasting 95 times the mass of Earth. Even though it's located hundreds of millions of miles away, Saturn is still clearly visible in the night sky during certain times of the year. As EarthSky reports, July is the best month to spot the gas giant, and if you're using a telescope, you may even see its rings and its largest moon. On July 9, , Saturn entered something called opposition with Earth. This occurs when our planet falls directly in line between Saturn and the Sun. When it's in opposition, Saturn is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit about million miles away. Due to its position in relation to our planet and the Sun, Saturn also appears especially clear and bright.
Tonight, Saturn will be in opposition, meaning it will be at its closest proximity to Earth. The ringed planet should be visible without a telescope, although astronomers recommend you use one for the best views—and especially to see the planet's rings. You can also catch a glimpse of some of Saturn's moons, including Titan, its largest and brightest if you use a telescope. Saturn will be visible throughout the entire evening, appearing in the southeast around the same time the sun sets. The planet will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight local time and will set in the western sky as the sun rises again Wednesday morning. The rings will be tilted toward Earth at a degree angle, making it quite the spectacle for stargazers with the right viewing equipment.
June, July and August are especially good months for viewing Saturn in But you can find Saturn in May, , too, especially when the moon sweeps past on May 11, 12 and This image was a Cassini highlight. The spacecraft acquired it in when it flew high above Saturn, looking down toward its north pole. It took a series of shots that were then assembled into this amazing mosaic by software engineer Gordan Ugarkovic.
What Planets Can Be Seen Without a Telescope?
Here are a few things to think about. James Martin in Albuquerque, New Mexico, caught this photo of Saturn at the opposition of the planet, when the rings were maximally tilted toward Earth. Opposition marks the middle of the best time of year to see a planet.
EOTS: How to view Saturn through a small telescope (5/5-5/11)