EYES TO THE SKY
July 8 – 21, 2019
All night planets Saturn, Jupiter. Overnight astronomy holiday
Tomorrow, planet Saturn arrives at “opposition”. Like Jupiter last month, Saturn is now coming into position opposite the Sun in Earth’s skies. Saturn rises in the southeast at 8:18pm on the 9th – 8:22 pm tonight, the 8th – opposite sunset in the northwest within seconds of 8:29pm both evenings.
All summer, Saturn will be visible at least until midnight, before setting in the southwest as the Sun rises in the northeast. Tomorrow morning, the 9th, Saturn sets at 5:49am; sunrise is at 5:33am and the precise moment of opposition is 1pm EDT.
Saturn is at its brightest for the year. The ringed planet’s apparent magnitude is 0.05. When compared to Jupiter, at magnitude -2.54, Saturn is not much brighter than many neighboring stars. Note that the smaller the magnitude number the brighter the celestial object.
Saturn rises about 4 minutes earlier everyday. On the 21st, the planet rises at 7:32pm opposite sunset at 8:22 pm, Saturn sets at 4:49am on the 22nd, when sunrise is at 5:43am. Alan MacRobert, senior editor of Sky and Telescope and Star Date columnist, writes, “Two weeks on, you’ll find that Jupiter and Saturn are noticeably westward (to the right) of where they appeared at the same time of night two weeks earlier.
Remember the formula for the turning of the sky:
Looking two weeks later is the same as looking one hour later.”
Dreaming of an eyes-on, hands-on astronomy immersion and camping vacation? Organized by the same group that brings us the always enlightening and inspiring Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF), the Rockland Astronomy Club is hosting its annual Summer Star Party in a dark sky park in Plainfield, MA from July 26 – August 4. Open to all ages and interests, from professionals to amateurs and novices, registration is open for single day to full ten-day program. Click here for more information.
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