This July 9, Tuesday, the ringed planet Saturn will reach opposition. This means that Saturn, which is the second-largest planet in our solar system, will be at its most visible in our night skies on that day. So prepare your cameras, telescopes, and sky-gazing buddies for this once-a-year astrological event.
Being in ‘opposition’ means for Earth to be in between the sun and another planet, making the said planet to be directly opposite the sun or as close as can be. This also brings that planet the closest in proximity it will get to Earth in that particular year. For Saturn specifically, this means that its rings will be visible to us here on Earth, with the proper equipment. And if you catch it at the right time, the moon’s light will even cast an ethereal glow on its rings.
According to EarthSky, there is no specific time for Saturn to be most visible. Saturn will be generally noticeable throughout the night — from the time the sun completely sets around 7 pm until dawn at about 5 am.
Will you be staking out the night sky on July 9?