Saturn Is Super Close To Earth

July 9, 2019

Credit: 3quarks / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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The planet Saturn will be at its closest point to Earth for the entire year on Tuesday. While it as the closest point in the daytime, it will still be visible to the naked eye all night long. And with a telescope, you should even be able to see its rings! The added bonus is there is no cloud cover to obscure your view.

Our planet will be located between the sun and Saturn, or what astronomers call "opposition." That means that Saturn is more or less opposite the sun in Earth’s sky, rising in the east around sunset, and climbing highest up for the night around midnight and setting in the west around sunrise. In this location, Saturn will be visible all night and at its best!

This is not a one night only event. You'll have a good view of the ringed planet all month, as well as through August and September. But don't expect it to look like the picture above. You can recognize Saturn because it’s in your southeast sky at dusk and nightfall. It will remain in the evening sky for the rest of the year. However, on the nights of July 16 and July 17, the Full Thunder Moon will be illuminated next to the planet, making both objects easy to spot in the night sky.