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March 8 - Saturn at Opposition

The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. As an outer planet, Saturn is best observed around its Opposition. Saturn's opposition occurs about once a year.  Saturn is visible all night,  and is found in the constellation Leo, the Lion until September, 2009.

An Opposition occurs when the planet is opposite from the Sun, relative to the Earth. At Opposition the planet will rise as the Sun sets and will set as the Sun rises providing an entire night of observation. Also at Opposition the planet comes physically closest to the Earth in it’s orbit so it appears as large as possible.

At Opposition, Saturn is OPPOSITE the Sun, so as the Sun sets in the West - Saturn rises in the East and as the Sun rises in the East - Mars will set in the West. Due to its brightness, Saturn is visible about 30 minutes before sunrise or after sunset (optimal time of observation).

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