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Saturn Set for Amazing Close Encounter with Earth (+Video)

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The next week, look for the ringed planet Saturn to light up the night sky from dusk till dawn. Our planet Earth is about to fly between Saturn and the sun, bringing Saturn to what astronomers call opposition on June 27, 2018.

In other words, Saturn is virtually opposite the sun in Earth’s sky right now, presenting a big milestone for observing the ringed planet! We go between Saturn and the sun on June 27 at 13 UTC. For the Americas, that places Saturn’s opposition on June 27 at 10 a.m ADT, 9 a.m. EDT, 8 a.m. CDT, 7 a.m. MDT, 6 a.m. PDT, 5 a.m. Alaskan Time and 3 a.m. Hawaiian Time.

On Wednesday, June 27 the Earth’s orbit will carry us between Saturn and the sun. Sitting opposite the sun in the sky, Saturn will be visible all night long, and the planet’s disk will be the brightest and largest for the year. Saturn is only one year past its northern solstice, when its north pole was tilted directly towards the sun, so the rings still appear wide open as viewed from Earth.

Clips, images credit: ESA.HUBBLE, ESO, NASA/JPL & nemesis maturity channel

Music credit: YouTube Audio Library


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