A close encounter with Saturn July 6, 2017.

Skywatchers have a rare chance to easily locate Saturn as it passes close by the moon Thursday night (July 6), its famous rings wide open to our line of sight.

The object that most people want to see in a telescope is the ringed planet Saturn, folks who own a telescope often claim that they have yet to see it. Right now Jupiter can be identified high in the west-southwest sky soon after sunset, it is the brightest object in the sky, aside from the moon.

About one hour after sunset, look toward the south-southeast sky. Roughly one quarter up from the horizon to the point overhead will be a nearly full moon, ninety six percent illuminated by the sun. Hovering less than three degrees below the moon you will see a bright, yellowish white “star” shining with a steady flow. That will be Saturn.

If you are in an area where it will be cloudy, you will have another chance to see Saturn on August 2.


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