Editor’s Note: Update for August 16: Due to inclement weather, the Saturn opposition webcast of The Virtual Telescope Project has been rescheduled for Tuesday (August 16) at 6:30 PM EDT (2230 GMT).
The ringed planet Saturn is often hailed as the jewel of the solar system and you’ll get a chance to see why in a free webcast tonight.
Saturn, which has the dazzling rings of all the planets in the solar system, will reach a point in its orbit called opposition tonight (Aug. 16), marking its densest and brightest appearance in the night sky this year. To celebrate, the online Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast live images of Saturn from a telescope in Ceccano, Italy. Weather permitting, the webcast will begin at 6:30 PM EDT (2230 GMT). It will appear on this page at the start, but you can also view it directly on the Virtual Telescope Project website (opens in new tab)at.
“As the lunar cycle progresses, Saturn and the background of stars will appear to shift west each evening as the Earth moves around the sun,” NASA wrote. (opens in new tab) in an August skywatching guide. “Saturn will be at its closest and brightest for the year on August 14, rising around sunset and setting around sunrise.”
Related: The brightest planets in the night sky of August 2022
When Saturn is in opposition, it is at a point in its orbit on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. It is also at its closest point for the year, which will be approximately 823 million miles (1.32 billion kilometers) in 2022.
According to Space.com columnist Joe Rao, Saturn is currently shining at a magnitude of +0.3, which is slightly brighter than Procyon, the eighth brightest star in the night sky. The planet is visible in the southeastern sky.
Saturn isn’t the only planet you can see in the sky tonight. Jupiter and the moon will also put on a show, NASA said.
“From Sunday night to Monday morning, August 14-15, 2022, Jupiter will appear to the left of the waning moon. The pair will rise above the eastern horizon at 9:58 p.m. EDT with Jupiter about 6 degrees to the moon’s left,” it wrote. NASA in its guide. (Your closed fist at arm’s length extends about 10 degrees from the sky.)
“The moon will be highest in the sky at 4:02 a.m. Monday morning, with Jupiter about 4 degrees above the moon, and morning twilight will begin a little over an hour later at 5:19 a.m.,” NASA added.
Are you looking for a telescope or binoculars to observe Saturn, Jupiter or the moon? Our guides to the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals are now a great place to start. Our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses can also help you find equipment to capture the next skywatching sight like a pro.
Editor’s Note: If you take a great photo of Saturn or any other night sky scene and would like to share it with Space.com for a story or image gallery, please send images, comments, and location information to [email protected].
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] (opens in new tab) or follow him @tariqjmalik (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab). follow us @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab).