Saturn and its satellite Titan: Saturn and its largest moon, Titan, float against the dark sky in this image taken through an 11-inch scope. This week, Titan will appear directly south of the planet.
Friday, August 20
The Moon passes 4° south of Saturn at 6 P.M. EDT. By sunset, the pair is 4.5° apart and rising in the southeast. An hour later, the pair has separated by another 0.2° and is easy to pick out in central Capricornus.
Just two weeks past opposition, Saturn is magnitude 0.2 and remains visible all night long. To really make the most of the view, use a telescope to get a closer look at the planet’s stunning ring system. Although they stretch far to either side of the planet, the rings are extremely thin, some 100 yards (91 meters) thick! We have a great view for now, while they’re tilted 18° to our line of sight. When our perspective gives us a view of the rings edge-on, called a ring plane crossing, they virtually disappear. The next rin...