Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to See Saturn Reach Night Sky Milestone on April 15

Date: 10 April 2012 Time: 01:59 PM ET

Saturn at Opposition Sky Map April 19, 2012
On the night of opposition, April 19, 2012, Saturn’s moons are neatly arrayed around it.
CREDIT: Starry Night Software

When amateur astronomers reflect on the most memorable sights of their lifetimes, their first view of Saturn through a telescope usually ranks high. And this weekend offers a prime chance to see the ringed planet in the southern night sky.
I can still vividly remember my first reaction, even though it was nearly 55 years ago: "Wow—it really has rings!" Like everyone, I had seen many pictures of Saturn, but nothing prepared me for actually seeing a planet with rings with my own eyes. I've since shown Saturn to hundreds of people, and the most common reaction is total disbelief: "Is that a picture of Saturn you’ve got stuck inside your telescope?"



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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