As time passes planets and things of that nature move around in the night sky. Sometimes we can view them and well, other times we cannot.
As of late Saturn has been quite prominent in the night sky and well, this week you should take the time to view if you haven’t already. On July 20th Saturn went Opposition the Sun and that means that the planet itself will be in a good position to be viewed for the weeks following. If you know where to look and have some binoculars or a small telescope, you may even be able to see its rings.
Forbes wrote as follows on this topic explaining what Saturn’s opposition actually is:
As with any of the Solar System’s outer planet’s, Saturn’s opposition occurs when Earth passes between it and the Sun on its own, faster, journey around the Sun.
As a consequence of that geometry, Saturn’s disk will be entirely illuminated, as seen from the Earth. So Saturn will look at its biggest and brightest and best for all of 2020.
The specificities date of Saturn’s opposition is Monday, July 20, 2020, but practically speaking you can get the year’s best views of the “ringed planet” anytime this week and month. During all of July and some of August, Saturn will shine at its brightest of all of 2020; technically it’s going to be at its biggest and brightest between July 4 through August 9, 2020.
While this does happen every year, taking the time to see it as often as possible will create some pretty amazing memories for you. I personally love getting my telescope out and trying to see what all I can find in the night sky when things like this come around. Considering how hectic things have been, it’s a perfect way to really chill things down and be more in the moment. While you won’t be able to see much with your binoculars any small telescope should work quite well for viewing the rings and other things of the sort properly.
Just look for Saturn somewhere between Sagittarius and Capricorn, it won’t be too hard to find and should be quite clear once you do pick it out of the rest of the bright things in the night sky. You can also see the moons or at least some of them. While Saturn has quite a few, if you look close enough the larger ones should become quite prominent.
Inverse wrote as follows on viewing this amazing celestial body:
As our planet flies directly between the Sun and Saturn, the planet will be at its closest to Earth and visible to us Earthlings throughout the night. Saturn will appear as a golden star, located right next to another bright planet in the sky, Jupiter.
The planet will rise in the southeastern sky, and stay there until dawn in front of the constellation Sagittarius.
Saturn’s disk and rings will be fully illuminated from our view. You can view the planet with the unaided eye, but a pair of binoculars will help you see it better. Additionally, if you want to get a view of Saturn’s illuminated rings, then a small telescope will come in handy.
You may even be able to spot one or two of Saturn’s moons using a telescope.
If you live in a crowded city like New York, it is best to get as high up as possible in order to minimize light pollution therefore going on a balcony or rooftop is highly recommended.
You also want to block out any light coming from screens of electronic devices, or flashlights and allow your eyes to get accustomed to the darkness for around 30 minutes before you look up.
Saturn’s position will change throughout the night, moving higher in the sky.
Will you be taking the time to look for this amazing planet or will you let this opportunity pass you by? While things like this might not sound like much, they are amazing experiences for us and the people closest to us. Share this moment with someone you love.