Saturn Closest to the Earth May 10th – Rings Visible

 | Wed 7 May 2014 10:12 ICT

CityNews – The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organisation) (NARIT) and the Ministry of Science and Technology have announced that on 10th May Saturn will be positioned closest to the Earth this year.

It will be clearly visible, (weather permitting) located towards the South West of the night’s sky, distinguished with a bright yellow shimmer and will be visible by the naked eye once the sun has fully set, throughout the night.

If you are able to view Saturn by telescope or binoculars, it is reported that you will be able to see Saturn’s rings very clearly. NARIT is organising an event in Chiang Mai called the “Star Party” where people can go and find more about the night’s sky.

Dr. Sarun Bosayachinda, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Science explained that during the night of the 10th Saturn will come into orbit directly opposite the Sun. (Saturn, the Earth and the Sun will be in alignment, with the Earth in the middle). This will cause Saturn to be the closest to the Earth this year at around 1,331 million kilometres, making the planet and its rings clearly visible all night long.

It will be located towards the South West, near the star formation Libra, visible from around 6.47 p.m. moving towards the east and will ‘set’ at 5.52 a.m. the next day. The next date for Saturn orbiting closest to the earth is May 25th 2015.

Apart from Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will also be visible. Mars will be visible early evening located overhead slightly towards the south, close to the Moon. Jupiter will be visible towards the east, near the constellation Gemini. The constellation Spica will also be visible clearly. If you use a telescope or binoculars you may be able to see icy pole of Mars.

NARIT will be hosting the “NARIT Star Party” on the 10th and 17th of May from 6pm – 9pm in front of Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre, with over 10 telescopes for people to observe the stars, free of charge.