Saturn At Its Best And Closest View During Its Opposition On June 15
Saturn will have its closest view during its opposition on June 15, 2017. This is the period in which the ringed-planet, the Earth and the Sun are all in a straight line. The planet Earth is placed in the middle.
With Saturn's opposition, one could see the planet clearly at the best view as well as its moons. Probably, one of the moons of Saturn that you could view most is the Titan, which is about 50 percent larger than the Earth's Moon. Titan orbits Saturn about every 16 Earth days. Meanwhile, Earth's Moon orbits for 27.3 days, according to NASA.
In addition, the viewers with their telescope could also capture the amazing rings of the planet Saturn. These rings composed of three major rings, namely the A, B and C. The A-ring is the outermost ring that is separated from the B-ring, which is the brightest and the widest. Meanwhile, the innermost C-rings starts along the inner edges of the B-ring and appears translucent than the A and B-rings. The rings are also tilted far forward, according to Sky & Telescope.
One could also see the famous dark gap known as the Cassini's Division. This is a hair-like gap that separates the A-ring from the broad B-ring. You can use a magnification of 100x to 200x to see it clearly.
The A- and B-rings will also appear brilliant white with a hue of yellow. On the other hand, if you focus on them for a few minutes and shift to the planet, it will appear tan or brown. One could also be amazed on the combination of colors of the planet and its rings that appear strikingly.
During the opposition, the Sun will strike the ring particles from the Earth's view. With this, the shadows they cast are hidden behind their small bulks. On the other hand, without the shadows, the rings will turn bright. So, what are you waiting for? Get your telescopes and be amazed to look at one of the most beautiful planets in the universe tonight!