Once each year, Earth passes between the sun and the 6th planet, Saturn. Our motion brings Saturn opposite the sun in our sky, to a place called opposition by astronomers. In 2022, Saturn’s opposition will come on August 14.
Opposition marks the middle of the best time of year to see an outer planet. During the weeks around its opposition, Saturn is generally at its closest to Earth and brightest for the year. It’s a beautiful and noticeable golden “star” in our night sky. Plus, because it’s opposite the sun, it’s up all night!
Saturn’s 2022 opposition: no telescope needed!
You need a telescope to see the rings of Saturn. But you can enjoy the planet with the eye alone. Here are four fun and easy observations you can make with just your eyes, during Saturn’s opposition month in 2022.
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. 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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