Similar to Jupiter last month, the solar system’s second-largest planet will hang brightly within the skies above Earth this week. Saturn shall be at opposition the evening of Tuesday, July 9.
The gas giant, known as “the crown jewel of our solar system” by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, will likely be at its closest approach to Earth with its facade in full daylight. Saturn shall be seen all through the evening of July 9 and will likely be brighter than at any other time this year.
The opposition is a formation where the Earth sits straight between a planet and the sun. Due to this, Saturn will rise opposite of sunset and can set within the west just prior to dawn. It is going to be seen within the constellation Sagittarius, and at its highest point within the sky around midnight local time.
The planet will probably be about 746 million miles from Earth throughout the opposition. Despite the huge distance, it is going to be easy to see with the bare eye. In case you have access to a telescope, all the better. That may get you a view of Saturn’s rings and a few of its largest moons like Titan, which is greater than Mercury. The rings will be tilted at a 24-degree angle to our eyes, close to its most inclination. That may present a magnificent view of the rings and the planet’s northern hemisphere.