Friday, July 19, 2024

Saturn will be at its biggest and brightest this weekend as it reaches ‘opposition’


Time to dust off those telescopes and binoculars!

Anyone who’s obsessed with gazing at the sky and picking out constellations, this is one is for you.

According to, Saturn will be reaching its ‘opposition,’ or closest point to earth as our planet passes right between the sun and Saturn — which marks this ringed planet’s brightest appearance for 2023!

The opposition will begin on Saturday, August 26th and into the early morning of Sunday, August 27th, with midnight estimated to be its most dazzling time to shine.

If you can’t catch it at its peak, no worries! It will remain big and bright throughout the rest of August and into mid-September.

Saturn rings
(Saturn’s rings / NASA/JPL)

If you’re hoping to catch this magnificent astronomical event, The Old Farmer’s Almanac claims that with any scope capable of more than 30x, Saturn and its majestic rings are sure to take your breath away.

This means it will be visible to the naked eye and by using binoculars or a zoomy camera lens, its rings will be able to be seen quite easily. 

Even through the smallest of backyard telescopes, its rings can still be distinguished if conditions are right.

As the rings are fashioned from chunks of “ordinary water ice” the size of beach balls, they’re said to double the planet’s brightness as they catch and reflect the sun’s rays!

So, grab your telescope, binoculars or camera and pray for clear skies!

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