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06/02/2016 – Ephemeris – Saturn at opposition

June 2, 2016

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 2nd.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 9:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:59.  The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:11 tomorrow morning.

In the wee morning hours tomorrow Saturn will be in opposition from the Sun.  It is a time Saturn will rise at sunset and set at sunrise.  It is also a time that Saturn is closest to the Earth, so it will appear its largest in our telescopes.  Saturn’s variance of apparent size over its appearance in our skies isn’t as dramatic as much closer and smaller Mars.  For Saturn which orbits the Sun at nearly 10 times the Earth’s distance from the Sun varies in apparent size plus or minus 10% over it’s synodic period of 12½ months.  The synodic period is the interval between oppositions or conjunctions of the Sun.  One benefit of being in opposition is that Saturn and its glorious rings will be up all night.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Saturn finder chart

Saturn finder chart. Looking low in the south-southwest at 11 p.m., June 2, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and some of its 63 moons at 11 p.m., June 2, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

 

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