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July 8, 2019 - Saturn Pulls an All-Nighter

Saturn Pulls an All-Nighter  Following on the heels of Jupiter’s opposition in June, Saturn has its turn this week. On Tuesday, Saturn will be positioned on the opposite side of the sky as the Sun, which will result in two conditions unique to oppositions: the first is that Saturn will rise at sunset and be visible in the sky all night long; the second is that Saturn will appear bigger (if seen through a telescope) and brighter (even with the naked eye) because it is now as close to Earth as it ever gets. This Hubble telescope view of Saturn from 2004 gives a good idea of the apparent aspect of Saturn when viewed through a telescope now. The rings will be tilted about this same amount now, although in 2019, nearly half a Saturnian year after this image was taken, we are seeing its northern hemisphere tilted toward us.

Image credit: NASA, ESA and Erich Karkoschka (University of Arizona)

Weekly Calendar

July 8 - 14, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 8

1994: STS-65 Columbia launched
2009: First flight test of Max Launch Abort System
2011: STS-135 Atlantis launched, final shuttle mission

Moon phase Tuesday 9

First Qtr Moon 6:55 AM ET
Saturn at opposition

1945: White Sands Missile Range opens
1979: Voyager 2 flies past Jupiter

Moon phase Wednesday 10

1962: Telstar 1 launched, allowing transatlantic transmission of TV signals
1992: Giotto spacecraft flies past comet Grigg-Skjellerup

Moon phase Thursday 11

1962: NASA selects lunar orbit rendezvous method for lunar landings
1969: X-24A lifting body rolled out for first time
1979: Skylab reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Friday 12

1966: First glide test of M2-F2 lifting body
2000: Zvezda Service Module launched to ISS
2001: STS-104 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Saturday 13

Jupiter 2° south of Moon

1995: STS-70 Discovery launched
2019: Russian Spektr RG X-ray Observatory launched

Moon phase Sunday 14

Pluto at opposition

1965: Mariner 4 completes first successful flyby of Mars
1967: Surveyor 4 launched
2015: New Horizons makes first ever Pluto flyby

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