Zee Media Bureau
Hyderabad: Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System after Jupiter will come very close to Earth on April 28 and can be seen directly opposite to the Sun, said Planetary Society of India (PSI) secretary N Raghunandan Kumar.
The planet Saturn will be at opposition with the Sun, and visible at its closest, biggest and brightest from the Earth on April 28. One can see the planet rising from East or South-East, after the Sun sets in the West, Mr. Kumar said.
At midnight, one can see it overhead while in the morning it can be spotted between West and South-West, he added.
The next close encounter will be on May 10, 2014. The last time it occurred was on April 15, 2012.
Saturn will remain close to Earth till June 9 and therefore enabling enthusiasts to watch the planet in almost the same brightness until then. It will also be visible during nights till October 2013.
And without a twinkle, sky lovers can easily spot Saturn with naked eye exactly opposite the Sun between west and southwest direction as it appears like a star.
In order to create awareness about the planet, the PSI is organising a ‘Saturn Observation Campaign India 2013’ between April 28 and October 17. The PSI will conduct observation camps at various points across the state including Hyderabad using astronomical telescopes.
Saturn is a gas giant (made up mostly of hydrogen and helium) with an average radius about nine times that of Earth. While only one-eighth the average density of Earth, but Saturn’s larger volume is over 95 times more massive than Earth.