See ringed planet Saturn at its finest in July 2019 – Astronomy Now

June 30, 2019 - Comment

This looping animation reveals the southern horizon as seen from the British Isles on consecutive sidereal days round 12am BST from 14 to 17 July 2019. Therefore the celebrities seem stationary and the movement of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn is extra simply perceived. For scale, the view is about 50 levels vast, or a little bit greater


This looping animation reveals the southern horizon as seen from the British Isles on consecutive sidereal days round 12am BST from 14 to 17 July 2019. Therefore the celebrities seem stationary and the movement of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn is extra simply perceived. For scale, the view is about 50 levels vast, or a little bit greater than twice the span of an outstretched hand at arm’s size. Word: the Moon’s obvious dimension is enlarged 3 times for readability. AN graphic: Ade Ashford.As July opens, any observer in Western Europe with a transparent sky round native midnight can not fail to spot the conspicuous ‘star’ that’s Jupiter low within the south. When you’re nonetheless up round 1am, have a look a few span-and-a-half of an outstretched hand at arm’s size to Jupiter’s left and, at an analogous peak above the horizon you’ll discover one other large of the photo voltaic system – Saturn. By mid-July, Saturn and Jupiter straddle the southern meridian at native midnight, as depicted within the animation above.

Shining at magnitude +zero.1, Saturn is twelve instances fainter than it’s bigger planetary sibling to the precise, however the ringed planet continues to be brighter than the rest within the constellation of Sagittarius wherein it presently resides. In widespread with Jupiter, Saturn at present occupies a area of the ecliptic that struggles to achieve a peak altitude of 14 levels within the south for observers within the coronary heart of the UK, however it’s nonetheless worthy of a glance via any sized telescope.A pc simulation of Saturn’s look at 20:37 UT (9:37pm BST) on Tuesday, 9 July 2019 – the planet’s opposition day and the moment that it’s closest to Earth for 2019. Presently, a gulf of 9.03 astronomical models (1,351 million kilometres) lies between the 2 worlds. Saturn is finest considered from the UK round 1am in early July, discovered barely a span-and-a-half of a fist at arm’s size above the southern horizon. Nonetheless, even at such a low altitude, on nights of regular seeing the planet’s wonderful rings – at present tilted at 24 levels to our line of sight – are wonderful to behold in any telescope. What’sthe smallest telescope in which you’ll understand the Cassini Division, the skinny black line between the planet’s A & B rings?AN graphic by Ade Ashford/Stellarium.Observing Saturn
With a declination of -22 levels, Saturn is at present finest seen from the Southern Hemisphere. As considered from Australia, for instance, the ringed planet is just about overhead when on the meridian. Saturn’s low altitude from the British Isles signifies that getting clear views will likely be difficult in July 2019, however there are methods that you could enhance your possibilities.

At all times give your telescope ample time to chill right down to nighttime temperatures by uncapping the lens or mirror (with the tube horizontal to keep away from dew deciding on the optics) an hour earlier than making observations. Additionally, observe from a grassy location wherever doable (keep away from concrete or asphalt that retains warmth after darkish) and don’t view Saturn over rooftops the place turbulent heat air currents rise.

Attempt to view Saturn inside an hour or so of the time it transits (see our interactive Almanac for native instances) in order that it’s as excessive as doable above your horizon. Calm, barely misty nights when a high-pressure system sits above us usually present the steadiest planetary views, notably shortly after sundown.

Even in positive UK seeing, each Jupiter and Saturn will show atmospheric dispersion (the place the higher and decrease limbs of the planet could seem to have prismatic blue and purple fringing, respectively) on account of our ambiance appearing like a weak lens. You should purchase atmospheric dispersion filters to assist counteract this, or just use a yellow/orange filter to reduce the colored fringes.



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