Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturn Is Closest To Earth On Sunday

This sky map shows the location of Saturn in the southeastern night sky at 10 p.m. on April 27, 2013, to observers at mid-northern latitudes.


The best view of Saturn available to Earth dwellers in six years should be on Sunday (April 28), with the planet reaching its opposition point, when Earth lies directly between it and the sun.

You can watch the celestial show live online via the Slooh Space Camera, which will be broadcasting a feed from its telescopes in Spain's Canary Islands. You can watch the Saturn webcast live on beginning at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday (0130 GMT Monday).

The giant planet should put on a spectacular show, with its famous icy rings tilted at a perfect angle for viewing. During Saturn's close approach to Earth, the planet will be exceptionally bright, reaching about the same brightness as famous stars such as Betelgeuse. The ringed giant should be visible all night long on April 27 and 28, and its shadow will fall so that neither the east nor west side of the rings is darkened.

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