June 21, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Discovery

This week in astronomy with Dave Eicher

Saturn and its thin ring system make an appearance next to the Moon this week.

This week, we have another beautiful conjunction in the morning sky as the Moon passes by Saturn and its magnificent ring system. Early on May 31, at 4 a.m. EDT, from the Northern Hemisphere, the just-passed last quarter moon will be about 0.4° from Saturn. (That separation is less than the width of half a degree of a Full Moon.)

Observers in southern South America and parts of Africa will enjoy an even more spectacular spectacle when viewing the Moon hidden in Saturn. At the moment, the Saturnian system's tilt is decreasing from our perspective, so its rings appear narrow and foreshortened, aligning beautifully with its moons.

For more information on how to view Saturn, see our May edition of Sky This Month.


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