How You Can See Saturn’s Rings This Week And Maybe One Of Its Moons, Too

If you like stargazing, we recommend that you mark September 7 and 8 on your calendar.

On those nights, Saturn will not only shine brightly throughout the night, but it will also be close to the moon so that you can watch the two move together across the night sky. Additionally, people using a telescope should be able to see Saturn’s rings and may be able to see one of the planet’s many moons, according to EarthSky.

On Wednesday, September 7, according to NASA, Saturn will appear slightly above and to the left of the moon at the end of twilight. It will be at 8:28 pm Eastern Summer Time.

The moon and Saturn will then move across the night sky. When the moon finally sets on Thursday at 4:14 am, Saturn will be just above and to the right of the moon.

Rings and moons of Saturn

Saturn, which does not have a rocky surface like Earth because it is a gas giant, is the sixth planet from the Sun. It is also the second largest planet in our solar system. To put its size into perspective, if you put nine Earths next to each other, they would almost cover the diameter of Saturn, not including its rings, explains NASA.

Now, about those rings. Saturn’s rings are actually chunks of ice and rock held in place by the planet’s gravitational pull. Although Saturn is not the only planet with rings, it has what NASA calls “the most spectacular ring system” because there are seven rings with different spaces and divisions between them.

Interestingly, Saturn also has 82 moons. Of that number, 53 are known moons while another 29 moons have not yet received official confirmation of their discovery.

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is larger than Earth’s moon and even larger than the planet Mercury. Of the 150 known moons in our solar system, Titan is the only one that has clouds and a dense atmosphere.

Surprisingly, besides Earth, Titan is the only other place in the solar system with liquids on its surface in the form of rivers, lakes and seas. Instead of water, however, they are liquid hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane, NASA continues.

How to watch Saturn and the moon

First, the good news: when you go outside to look at Saturn, it will be easy to spot because it will be so close to the moon. It will be slightly above and to the left of the moon.

Now the bad news: the moon will be nearly full and bright on September 7, making it perhaps difficult to see Saturn. By the way, the September full moon on Saturday September 10 is known as the harvest moon because it occurs closer to the autumn equinox on Thursday September 22.

If the moon’s glow makes it difficult to see Saturn, you can simply reach out to arm’s length and cover the moon with your finger. This will make it easier to see Saturn, EarthSky explains.

Be sure to check out the rest of our stargazing content as well, including

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