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What Does It Mean For Saturn to Be at Opposition on Aug. 2?

Saturn Is About to Be the Closest It Can Get to Earth on Aug. 2 — So Look Up!

In celestial news you needed, Saturn has entered the chat! The most beautiful planet in the sky will light up the night on Aug. 2, and it'll be a sight to behold. On this day, the ringed planet will be in alignment with Earth and the sun in a celestial event known as the moment Saturn is in "opposition." The second-largest planet will be at its closest distance to Earth with its face fully illuminated by the sun, meaning it'll be brighter than it has been all year and visible throughout the night. If you've been hoping to snap a picture of the awe-inspiring planet, this is the time to do so, and if you happen to have a telescope handy, you just might be able to catch a glimpse of the icy rings!

When Will Saturn Be Most Visible?

From 9:15 p.m. to 4:53 a.m. ET, Saturn will be at its brightest, so be sure to take a look at the night sky then. The planet will reach peak opposition (or the moment it's at perfect alignment between the Earth and sun) at 2 a.m. ET and will appear somewhat golden in the southeastern sky. But don't worry if you miss this time frame, because you'll be able to see Saturn in the sky from July to December this year — this is just when it'll be its brightest.

How Can You See Saturn at Opposition?

As with any celestial event, it's best to get outside and away from light pollution. The darker the sky, the better. We suggest lying flat on your back as well so you can really take it all in. To the naked eye, the ringed planet might appear to be a bit yellow and very bright. We suggest using a telescope if you want to see the incredible rings better.

When Will Other Planets Be at Opposition in 2021?

Jupiter will be at opposition on Aug. 19 at 8:20 p.m. ET, while Neptune will reach its peak on Sept. 14 at 5:12 a.m. ET. As for Uranus, that planet will be closest to Earth on Nov. 4 at 7:49 p.m. ET.

Looking for more? You can learn about the rest of 2021's solar events right here.

Image Source: Getty
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