Make sure your telescope is ready tonight as Saturn with its ring system shines brighter than any other time of the year. Beginning Tuesday, Saturn will be at opposition, which means it will rise opposite the sun in the Earth’s sky, thus providing the best views of the gas giant and a number of its moons. The planet will be visible to the naked eye, but you’ll need a telescope to see its iconic rings, and can be spotted in the “teapot” of the Sagittarius constellation. Read more for a another video and additional information.
The planet appears highest in the sky around midnight but will be visible all night long, setting in the west as the sun begins to rise in the east. If you happen to miss the views tonight, Saturn’s opposition should provide fantastic views of the planet during the July, August and September months. However, on July 15th and 16th, a full moon “scrapes by the ringed planet,” allowing people in South America to see the moon pass directly in front of Saturn.