Watching the Skies: Saturn in opposition

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Last week was the opposition of Jupiter, and this week will bring the opposition of Saturn.

Opposition means the sun and Saturn will be on opposite sides of the Earth, or the Earth will be directly between the sun and Saturn. The exact time of the opposition will be at 6 p.m. on Monday.

With Saturn in opposition, it will rise in the east as the sun sets in the west, and set in the west as the sun rises in the east. Saturn will be highest in the sky around midnight.

This is the time of year when Saturn is the brightest. Even if you can’t catch it the day of the opposition, you’ll have a good view of Saturn right up into early fall.

If you’re trying to find Saturn, try to pick out Jupiter first. Jupiter is very bright and easy to spot. Once you’ve found Jupiter, look to the left a bit and find Saturn.

Stargazers have been enjoying the sight of the comet NEOWISE over the past couple weeks. John Dimond captured this incredible shot of the comet over Wabasis Lake last week.

Comet NEOWISE over Wabasis Lake. (Courtesy: John Dimond)

Chris Atwater saw the comet over Lake Michigan, and sent this picture our way. 

Comet NEOWISE over Lake Michigan. (Courtesy: Chris Atwater)

The comet NEOWISE remains visible to the northwest after sunset and to the northeast before sunrise.