"Saturn: At Opposition this Week and as Big and as Bright as it Ever Gets!"

Scheduled air date: 1999 Nov 01-07

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Because Saturn is at opposition—opposite the Sun as seen from Earth—this weekend, it can be seen all night long.  It rises in the East around sunset, transits (crosses the meridian) at midnight, and sets around sunrise.
(Shown for mid-Northern latitudes on night of November 6th.)

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Even though Saturn appears significantly smaller than Jupiter in a telescope (top), if you count its ring system, it is actually about twice the diameter of that largest planet of our Solar System (bottom).
(Apparent sizes shown for this week.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

Copyright 1999-2006 by Software Bisque, Inc.