Sunday, April 15, 2012

Be sure to look up tonight to get a great view of Saturn and it's rings!

If you have some good binoculars, or better yet, a telescope, tonight should be a good night to view Saturn.

From the Huffington Post:
On April 15, 2012, Saturn reaches opposition — the point when it is directly opposite the sun in the sky. When it reaches opposition, Saturn will appear in the midnight sky to observers on Earth. The sky maps and illustration of Saturn accompanying this guide shows where to see the planet in the southern sky on April 15 and how it may appear seen through a good telescope.
If you ever wondered what Saturn looked like in early illustrations, Smithsonian Libraries makes available online:

Christiaan Huygens. Systema Saturnium, sive de causis mirandorum Saturni phaenomenon, et comite ejus planeta novo [The System of Saturn, or On the matter of Saturn's remarkable appearance, and its satellite, the new planet]. Hagae-Comitis [The Hague]: Ex Typographia Adriani Vlacq [from the press of Adriaan Vlacq], 1659. Six preliminary leaves, 84 pages, woodcut and engraved illustrations, one folding engraved plate. QB671.H98

Huygens' book was the first to very accurately depict the rings of Saturn and to give some explanation of them (though he, at the time, thought it was a single disc).

Happy viewing!

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