Titan tap dances around Saturn

Apr 1

Written by:
4/1/2013 12:55 PM  RssIcon

The Moons of Jupiter are often described as "shuttling" back and forth on either side of that planet, and that is because Jupiter's tilt is a mere 3 degrees.  Saturn on the other hand, is tilted at 26.7 degrees.  In one way, that is incredibly fortunate for us, as when the tilt is at maximum to Earth's perspective ever 15 years or so, we see the best views of it's ring structure!  What that also serves to so though, is cause some people to misinterpret Saturn's Moons as stars, because they aren't expecting them to be in locations outside of a "nearly straight line" like Jupiter's moons are.

And this week, we have front-row seats to quite a display of Saturn's moon Titan.  This moon is not nearly as bright as the Galilean moons.  They shine at 6th magnitude, despite being smaller.  However, that is aided by the fact that they are some 300+ million miles closer to Earth as well!  So to spot Titan, you'll either need dark skies and a 60mm scope or larger, or a 114mm to 150mm telescope under moderate to severely light polluted skies.  

Check out the graphic below; you can see how Titan will move from well outside one of Saturn's rings, to slipping towards the south pole of Saturn.  Of course, it only appears to be near the south pole - it reality, the moon is still quite some distance from the planet.  It's merely the line-of-sight view we have from Earth that cause it to look that close to the globe of the ringed planet.

Look in the southeast around midnight, or early in the morning before sunrise towards the southwest. Saturn is about 15 degrees from the bluish-white star Spica, off to it's west.  Forming a near-perfect right triangle with these two objects is Arcturus, visibly more orange than Spica, and "up" more towards overhead than either of them.  It lies about 30 degrees from the planet.  To the east is Antares, which should glow even more orange than Arcturus.

Use a small telescope at 120x to 150x magnification or greater to locate Titan this week as it revolves around our solar system's 6-th major planet.  The chart below shows the location of the planet at around 1:00 am each day, Central Daylight Time in the U.S., but you can still see the motions as it changes night-to-night from any location worldwide.  The position just may be slightly different.

For more information on what you can find and see in the night sky every week, see the homepage of Eyes on the Sky.  Light pollution reduction begins with you, and you can take simple steps to reduce night sky glow without compromising safety.  

See Titan near Saturn, April 1 thru April 7

Location: Blogs Parent Separator The Nightlight

15 comment(s) so far...

Re: Titan tap dances around Saturn

Furthermore, her looking "fabulous" should have no bearing on what the public thinks of her criminal record.
# louis vuitton bags outle

By TrackBack on   4/18/2013 10:02 PM

cheap air jordan

Our nation reveres celebrities so much even when there is nothing to revere; they are no different than anyone else. It's embarrassing. I actually admire Robert Downey, he overcame a very serious drug problem after many tries.
# cheap air jordan

By TrackBack on   4/18/2013 10:03 PM

authentic louis vuitton bags

It can make your breasts look a great deal more compact also it enables you to look a great deal more masculine.
# authentic louis vuitton bags

By TrackBack on   4/18/2013 10:03 PM

louis vuitton outlet

I want some celine bags and also the rates.
# louis vuitton outlet

By TrackBack on   4/21/2013 8:46 AM

cheap louis vuitton handbags

using the clear studs. I already possess the flats in pink. I've not bought a bag however....
# cheap louis vuitton handbags

By TrackBack on   4/21/2013 8:47 AM

Re: Titan tap dances around Saturn

The Row makes nice pieces.The Luggage Tote together with the red what seems to become pony hair face is cute as well as the colour blocking is clever.
# louis vuitton outlet onlin

By TrackBack on   4/21/2013 8:47 AM

Re: Titan tap dances around Saturn

even though.) In light of that, we thought wed stock our weekly bag deals post with some rosy choices to create your day a little bit bit warmer.
# louis vuitton outlet stor

By TrackBack on   4/22/2013 4:07 AM

louis vuitton outlet store

but the calendar tells me so, and I think it. (Maybe I just think it simply because its also depressing not to.
# louis vuitton outlet store

By TrackBack on   4/22/2013 4:07 AM

louis vuitton bags outlet

Congrats to those that win. Only wish I could just spend income like that for one particular.
# louis vuitton bags outlet

By TrackBack on   4/22/2013 4:07 AM

louis vuitton bags us

Commentors furiously reported last time that the statement "China’s economic growth unexpectedly cooled in the first quarter to 7.7 percent" was a fabrication as the Chinese government stated late last year they had set a target of 7.5% for 2013.
# louis vuitton bags us

By TrackBack on   4/24/2013 11:24 AM

louis vuitton outlet store

After repeatedly beating the Bulls in pick-and-roll situations in Game 1, Williams didn't make his first and only field goal until the 6:35 mark of the third quarter and finished with eight points and 10 assists while missing eight of nine shots.
# louis vuitton outlet store

By TrackBack on   4/24/2013 11:24 AM

louis vuitton outlet online

Be comfortable with your weight and size.So, you aren't preppy, but you aren't goth. You aren't into athletics, but you aren't a couch potato.
# louis vuitton outlet online

By TrackBack on   4/26/2013 11:05 AM

oakleys home

This article made me feel shines. After doing some reading of this article, I encouraged a lot. I will concern your blog. I hope everyone like me hereharvest happy, reap moved.
# oakleys home

By TrackBack on   4/30/2013 1:33 PM

blog home

A work of a harvest,exactly because of your hard writing, we can feel so much weal, learn more our own understanding of their. The world could be so splendid.
# blog home

By TrackBack on   4/30/2013 1:33 PM

baidu censor

Some countries censor Internet content and not just rogue regimes such as the Iranian mullocracy. Poor people! http://www.baidu.com
# baidu censor

By TrackBack on   4/30/2013 2:07 PM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.