New Delhi, Apr 3: An eye-catching spectacle will greet star gazers tomorrow when Saturn, the Lord of the Rings, will be brightest and biggest in the night sky making it visible to the naked eye.
“Jovian planet Saturn will shine like a bright golden object in the night sky theatre on Monday as the planet will be at its opposition,” N Sri Raghunandan Kumar, Secretary of Planetary Society of India, told PTI. The planet with multiple rings will be visible as a bright object uptil May providing a great opportunity for star lovers to view it.
An object is at opposition when the Sun is on one side of the Earth and the object is directly on the opposite side, he said, adding on Monday night Sun-Earth-Saturn would be opposite to each other.
The result is that the object is fully illuminated by the Sun and appears disk-like, he said. Opposition is the best time to observe the planet as it will visible all-night-long, rising at sunset and setting at sunrise, and is closest to the Earth so it appears bigger in size and brighter, he added.
Named after a Roman god, Saturn will seen in as disc-like body on the eastern horizon close to constellation Virgo soon after sunset from 6:30 PM, R C Kapoor, a former professor of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, said. The planet will be visible to the naked eyes throughout the night.
With a telescope or a binoculars, Saturn will appear as a yellowish spot with rings. Saturn opposition occur every one year and two weeks (378.1 days), or 29 times in every 30 years.
The last opposition of Saturn was on March 22, 2010. The next opposition will be on April 15 next year followed by another on April 28, 2013. PTI