Saturn shines brightest, biggest Monday

Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system, is at opposition. An object is at opposition when the Sun is on one side of the Earth and the object is directly on the opposite side. The result is that the object is fully illuminated by the Sun and appears disk-like.

"Look for the brightest object in the eastern skies one hour after sunset and you will find Saturn glowing on the horizon. In fact, Saturn will appear the biggest and brightest... and will provide a great observing opportunity," said C.B. Devgun, director, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE).

Opposition is a special event for night sky observers and is the best time to observe the planet as it is visible all night long.

"At this particular geometry it is closest to the earth so it appears bigger in size and brighter," he said.
Saturn oppositions occur every one year and two weeks (378.1 days). The last opposition of Saturn was March 9, 2009 and after this one, the next will be April 4, 2011.

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