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Wave at Saturn -- Viewing Saturn

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Saturn Viewing

When and Where to Wave at Saturn

By Jane Houston Jones
June 18, 2013

Location of Saturn in the sky in Los Angeles on July 19, 2013
From Los Angeles (and western states) wave at Saturn low on the eastern horizon from 2:27 to 2:42 p.m. PDT on July 19, 2013. Saturn’s approximate location is shown, but it will not be not visible in the daylight.
Wondering how you can participate when Cassini takes a picture of Earth and its moon on July 19, 2013? I've put together some charts so you know where to look for Saturn at your part of the Earth.

Cassini's image of Earth will be just 1.5 pixels wide, with the illuminated part of Earth less than a pixel, so the resulting mosaic will not actually show people or the continents. But if you are on the sunlit side of Earth at the time – North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean -- you are in the picture. The western part of Africa and Europe will also be facing Cassini's cameras, but they will be dark.

For those in the U.S., step outside (or stay inside) and wave low on your eastern horizon (southeast in the central and eastern U.S.) as Cassini’s cameras take a series of pictures over about 15 minutes in the afternoon of July 19 from 2:27 to 2:42 p.m. PDT (21:27 to 21:42 UTC).

+ Finding Saturn Star Charts

+ View the Time Zones Page

Here are the charts for New York and Chicago:

Location of Saturn in the sky in New York on July 19, 2013
Location of Saturn in the sky in Chicago on July 19, 2013

Saturn makes an easy-to-find appearance in the night sky on July 19 and 20, too. Step outside after sunset and look to the east or southeast in the continental U.S. and look for the beautiful nearly full moon rising in the Eastern sky. You’ll see two bright stars spanning the east or southeast sky. They are Saturn and Venus and Saturn is the middle 'star' between the moon and Venus. You can see these with your own unaided eyes, no telescope or binoculars are needed.

Location of Saturn in the sky in Los Angeles on July 19, 2013
From Los Angeles (and western states) find the moon, Saturn and Venus in the western-southwestern sky after sunset on July 19th. Saturn appears as a golden “star” brighter than any of the surrounding stars. No telescope required, but the rings and several moons are visible through binoculars or telescopes.

I'll have charts for other places around the globe later because we hope that folks around the world will be able to join in, too.

Please capture the moment with your own photo, artwork, Saturn related images, and share them with us! You can share your pictures by joining our Flickr group Wave at Saturn, adding them to our Wave at Saturn Facebook event page or tagging pictures on Twitter #waveatsaturn. We hope to make a special collage of all these images if we get enough of them.

In the July edition of the "What's Up" video series for stargazers, you'll find more information on Saturn viewing. This month learn what Saturn looks like through a telescope, how to spot Saturn's moon Iapetus, and all about NASA's #WaveAtSaturn campaign. http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/whatsup-view.cfm?WUID=1504 .

For more information about viewing Saturn in 2013, check out: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/saturnobservation/viewingsaturn/ . For additional information on how and when to spot Iapetus, check out: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/whatsup-view.cfm?WUID=864


Jane Houston Jones is a member of the Cassini education and public outreach team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a long-time amateur astronomer and host of JPL's "What's Up" stargazing videos.




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