Saturn And Jupiter In Opposition: Where And How To See It - NPR
Jul 29, 2021 1 min, 7 secs
Saturn (right) with Jupiter in the night sky over Burnsville, N.C., in December during an event known as the great conjunction.

Saturn (right) with Jupiter in the night sky over Burnsville, N.C., in December during an event known as the great conjunction.

Now might be the time to wipe the dust off that pair of binoculars and extract the family telescope from the back of the closet: Saturn is about to put on its best and brightest show, looking spiffier than at any time during the year – a performance that will be followed a few weeks later by Jupiter.

"So very roughly once a year, Saturn, Earth and the sun line up," he tells NPR.

"The brightest 'star' you'll see not far above the horizon is Jupiter, and Saturn is the fainter yellowish object about two fists seen at arm's length to its upper right," Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society writes in an email to NPR.

However, with binoculars or a small telescope — and good seeing — you'll have the best chance all year to catch some really interesting detail.

"Through a small telescope, Titan is actually pretty easy," Plait says.

You've got a few weeks and all night to see Saturn at its best.

More advanced amateur astronomers have been capturing especially stunning images of Saturn for weeks now as opposition approaches.


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