Saturn Apparition - Opposition 2018 JUN 27

A plotting of the planet in equatorial coordinates of current date during 2017 JAN 10 to DEC 11 - See article below.

Saturn Declinations and Altitudes at Oppositions

A graphic plotting of Saturn through the zodiac at oppositions, plus printed data of its right ascensions, declinations and transit altitudes

Saturn Apparent Ring Tilt Graph - 2018

Graph of the tilt of Saturn’s rotational axis as viewed from Earth Identical tilt for the plane of Saturn’s rings

Rings of Saturn - 2018

Graphic illustrating the positioning of Saturn’s rings as viewed from Earth

Rings of Saturn - 2002-2032

Graphic illustrating the positioning of Saturn’s rings as viewed from Earth during the 30 oppositions from 2002 to 2032

Rings of Saturn - Zero & Extreme Tilts

Graphic illustrating the positioning of Saturn’s rings as viewed from Earth at moments of zero and extreme tilts from 1988 to 2046

Saturn 01 Saturn 02 Saturn 07 Saturn 08 Saturn 09 Saturn 03

                              2018 APPARITION OF SATURN

Ringed Saturn appears in the predawn eastern sky  following its conjunction behind the Sun on 2017 DEC 21. Western quadrature (90° from Sun) will be reached on 2018 MAR 29. Apparent retrograde motion in right ascension will begin on APR 17.

   Opposition from the Sun will occur during the night of 2018 JUN 26-27 when Saturn will be in the sky all night in Sagittarius at a declination of 22.5° south of the celestial equator. The following are all expected around the time of opposition. Saturn’s north pole will be tilted by 26.0° toward Earth, meaning its rings will appear similarly tilted. Its closest approach to Earth will be 9.0488 AU while subtending an equatorial angular diameter of 18.4 arcseconds. Greatest brilliance for this apparition is expected at stellar magnitude +0.0.

   Apparent direct motion in right ascension will resume on 2018 SEP 06. Eastern quadrature will be reached on SEP 25 before conjunction behind the Sun on 2019 JAN 02.

   Saturn will appear near Mars 2018 APR 02.  It will not again appear near any other bright planets or first magnitude stars during this apparition.

   The Moon will appear near Saturn 2018 MAR 10, APR 07, MAY 04, MAY 31, JUN 27, JUL 25, AUG 21, SEP 17, OCT 14, NOV 11 & DEC 09 (occultation).

NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time.

*  A meridian transit occurs when a celestial body crosses an observer’s local north-south line in the sky. That is practically simultaneous with culmination, i.e. the highest altitude for the day. The Saturn meridian transit times in the above linked graph can be easily transformed for your location. The given times are nearly the same for the central meridians of all time zones, i.e. those evenly divisible by 15° such as 75°, 90°, 105° or 120°. Do not adjust to UT. Simply add to the chart time 4 minutes for each degree west of a central meridian, or subtract 4 minutes for each degree to the east. If on daylight savings time, add an hour.

Saturn 10

Saturn Stellar Magnitude - 2018

Graph of the brightness of Saturn measured in stellar magnitude

Saturn 04 Saturn 05

Saturn Angular Diameter - 2018

Graph of equatorial angular diameter of Saturn measured in arcseconds - Distance in AU = 165.46 / angular diameter

Saturn Illumination Phase - 2018

Graph of the percentage of Saturn’s apparent disk illuminated

Saturn Meridian Transit Time* - 2018

Graph of the times that the planet Saturn transits the prime meridian

Saturn 06

© Curt Renz


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