Saturn Reaches Its Closest Point to Earth This Week

It is always very exciting to see space events from Earth, whether it be a meteor shower or a planet shining brightly, which is what is currently happening with Saturn.

It has been reported that on August 1 and 2, the ringed planet will be at opposition, meaning that Earth will be located between Saturn and the Sun.

According to experts, this is when Saturn is at its most luminous state, making it quite a view when looking at the night sky. Those interested can watch the phenom at 2 a.m. ET or 11 p.m. PT.

A digital representation of the rings of Saturn | Photo: Shutterstock

A digital representation of the rings of Saturn | Photo: Shutterstock

HOW TO FIND IT

EarthSky wrote that once Venus hides behind the horizon after the Sun sets, Jupiter, the biggest planet in the Solar System, will be the brightest object in the sky.

In order to find Saturn, all you have to do is be on the lookout for Jupiter since the ringed planet will be located West of it. Sadly, Saturn's famous rings won't be noticeable without the aid of a telescope.

Those keen on witnessing the event should not be concerned about cloudy weather as Saturn will remain bright throughout the rest of the month.

CNN meteorologist, Haley Brink, shared that much of the Midwest and portions of Western California will have mostly clear skies. She also added:

"A swath of cloudy skies will exist across the Northwest into the Rockies, across many southern states and into the Northeast."

A digital representation of Saturn and some of its moons | Photo: Shutterstock

A digital representation of Saturn and some of its moons | Photo: Shutterstock

As aforementioned, even if the town you reside in happens to have cloudy weather, you will be able to see Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, in all its glory. 

Saturn is known as the "Jewel of the Solar System" and is the second-largest planet in the Solar System. Unlike Earth, you wouldn't be able to stand on it because it is mostly made out of gases.

Our Solar System | Photo: Shutterstock

Our Solar System | Photo: Shutterstock

WHAT ARE THE RINGS MADE OF?

Its famous rings are not solid, and they are actually made up of bits of ice, dust, and rock that can be as small as a grain of sugar or as big as a house.

Earlier this year, Americans were able to witness the fantastic "Wolf Moon."

Although Saturn's rings are huge, they are quite thin, having less than a kilometer when it comes to thickness. Other planets have rings, too, but Saturn's are the only ones that can be seen from Earth.

The ringed planet's distance to Earth is constantly changing, but when the two are closest to each other, they stand approximately 746 million miles (1.2 billion kilometers) apart.

Represenation of the planets Earth and Saturn close to each other with the moon | Photo: Shutterstock

Represenation of the planets Earth and Saturn close to each other with the moon | Photo: Shutterstock

OTHER SPACE EVENTS IN 2021

Earlier this year, Americans were able to witness the fantastic "Wolf Moon," which reached its peak on January 28. It was given that name due to wolves being often heard howling at it.

Not only that but the "Super Flower Blood Moon," a lunar eclipse that takes place when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth in its orbit, also graced the skies in May, making the moon appear larger than usual.

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