Disappearing Saturn?

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Disappearing Saturn?

Postby davidm61 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:33 pm


I've just read an article in which the writer states that Saturn should be enjoyed now, as it will soon (as in a couple or so years time) become a Southern Hemishpere object, and not visible in the Northern Hemisphere for some time. I'm wondering if this is error by the author, as I thought that although Saturn is moving southwards in relation to the celestial equator, that it would reach it's furthest point south (when viewed from the Northern Hemishpere, and in relation to the celestial equator) in 2017. It would then be low down in the sky, but still visible.

Am I correct, or is the article?

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RE: Disappearing Saturn?

Postby lancashire astroguy » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:53 pm


You are correct in that Saturn will always be visible from the UK. However, in 2017 it will be very low down in the summer sky in Sagittarius and Scorpius - barely 10 or 15 degrees above the horizon when due South (not unlike Jupiter a couple of years back). Atmospheric distortion will make it a difficult object to observe, which will be a shame as the rings will be fully open again by then.

All good things come to those who wait, however, and Saturn will be back in the northern sky sometime around 2024!

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