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08/15/2022 – Ephemeris – Saturn moves into the evening sky

August 15, 2022

This is Ephemeris for Monday, August 15th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 8:48, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:46. The Moon, halfway from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:55 this evening.

Yesterday, Saturn was in opposition to the Sun. I’m not implying an argument here. Opposition is when a planet is opposite the Sun in the sky, so it rises around sunset and sets around sunrise. That means Saturn is the closest it can get to us this year. For the record, that’s 836 million miles (1,345 million kilometers). Saturn will first appear tonight in the southeast when it gets dark enough, say around 9:15 to 9:30 pm. It is in the constellation of Aquarius now. It is moving northeastward in our skies, or it would if it weren’t at opposition, and moving backward or retrograde as the Earth is, in effect, lapping Saturn in our eternal race around the Sun. Saturn’s rings appear to slowly get skinnier as the planet moves to an equinox, where its rings, which orbit its equator, will tilt edgewise to the Sun, and the Earth in 2025.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Display of the solar system out to Saturn, with added line showing Saturn’s location opposite the Sun from the Earth. This make the Earth nearly in line from the Sun to Saturn. This is the time that Saturn would be closest to the Earth. Credit: my LookingUp app. I wanted to use NASA’s Eyes, but there were too many interplanetary spacecraft near the Earth. The Earth was crowded out by spacecraft labels.

Saturn's rings change.

How the appearance of the rings change as Saturn orbits the Sun. Credit: NASA Hubble.

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