A good chance to see the planet Saturn will happen on Tuesday night July 9. The sixth planet from the sun will appear extra bright in the night sky because it’s in what’s called “opposition.”

Opposition is a position in which a planet is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. Because of this position, the planet in the night sky will appear extra bright. The moon is expected to be in its first-quarter phase, meaning about half of it will be lit by the sun, but the night sky should be plenty dark to see the planet.

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. 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.

With the planet appearing this bright, the question is will we be able to see it with the naked eye, or will we need a telescope. In short you can see the planet with the naked eye, however, it will look like a very bright star. The only difference is that it won’t twinkle like the stars. If you have a telescope, you should be able to make out the rings on the planet.

Another thing to note, even though opposition technically occurs at one moment in time, the planet will appear pretty bright in the night sky through the months of July, August, and September.

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