See Saturn's rings as it begins its closest pass by Earth

Here's How to Spot Saturn's Rings in the Night Sky on July 9

Saturn's opposition technically occurs at noon Central time Tuesday afternoon, however, that night it will still be pretty close to that position, so it will still look pretty bright.

Saturn will be so close to Earth this month that its rings will be visible through a normal telescope. The sixth planet from the sun will appear extra bright in the night sky because it's in what's called "opposition".

Opposition gives Earth-dwellers the best views of the gas giant and a number of its moons, according to NASA.

Saturn will be visible in the southeast sky Tuesday, according to EarthSky, and can be spotted in the "teapot" of the Sagittarius constellation.

Saturn's rings won't be visible to the naked eye, but if you peer at the planet using a telescope, "the rings will seem to surge in brightness", due to the sunlight, National Geographic said. You can see it rising in the eastern sky around sunset, climbing highest in the sky around midnight, then set in the western sky around sunrise.

Saturn's opposition will provide good views of the planet during July, August and September.

Just a few days later, on July 16 and 17, Saturn and the full moon will make a stunning pair in the sky, according to

This exciting celestial event happens to fall on the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission.



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