Saturn is up after midnight

Feb 18

Written by:
2/18/2013 2:54 PM  RssIcon

Slowing to a halt on February 19th, and reversing course into retrograde motion against the much further background stars, Saturn winds up more than 10 degrees above the horizon by midnight, which means the night owl astronomers among us will have the opportunity to see the ringed planet before heading off to bed.  If you're not sure where to find it, look to the northwest/overhead for the easily-recognized Big Dipper.  If you know how to measure about 25 degrees in the sky (click that link to find out how), you can "arc to Arcturus" and then "speed on the Spica."  Turn left/down from the twinkling bluish white star to see the cream-colored - and steadier-appearing - glow from Saturn's reflected sunlight.  

Most any small telescope at 75x to 100x or more will display the lovely rings of this planet.  We'll be in for more of this fantastic sight in the months ahead as Saturn gets higher in the sky during the warm-up of spring.

How to find Saturn in the sky, February 2013

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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.