Photos from the EarthSky community of Saturn, at its closest and brightest for 2023.
Earth flew between Saturn and the sun on Sunday, August 27, 2023. It was Saturn’s yearly opposition, when the planet appeared opposite the sun in our sky. All this past week, Saturn has appeared more or less opposite the sun, rising in the east at sunset and visible all night, as seen from around the globe. EarthSky community photographers were busy catching it with telescopes, near the Blue supermoon on Wednesday night, August 30. Enjoy these photos! Submit your photo to EarthSky Community Photos.
In their months of opposition, planets always appear near Earth’s full moon. That’s because – in order to be at opposition – Earth must be between that outer planet and the sun. And – in order to appear full – Earth must be between the moon and sun. So the moon and a planet near opposition must be located in the same direction in Earth’s sky. Here are some photos of Saturn near opposition and near the August full moon, which was 2023’s closest supermoon, a Blue moon, and the last full moon of summer.
Bottom line: Earth flew between the sun and Saturn last week, on August 27. Then Earth was between the sun and moon, at full moon on August 30. Photos here of Saturn and the moon!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. In 2020, she was the Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society, the largest organization of professional astronomers in North America. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.
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