Many amateur astronomers and seasoned sky watchers would argue that Saturn is the most beautiful object in our solar system. Even though we've seen it in cartoons, it's time for us to see it for real. This planet is not an easy planet to find in a night sky full of stars, but understanding a little about Saturn's orbit will help you to get the best conditions for viewing it, as well as to locate its location so that finding the planet Saturn will be easier. See Step 1 for more instructions.
Part 1 of 3: Studying Saturn's Orbit
Step 1. Study the relationship between the revolutions of the Earth and Saturn
Earth revolves around the sun once a year, while for Saturn, it takes about twenty-nine and a half years to make the same rotation. Saturn can be seen at least some of the time each year when Earth passes between Saturn and the Sun. Saturn may be easier or harder to find in the night sky, depending on the time of day and relationship with our planet,.
Step 2. Estimate the location of the point of Saturn's journey, otherwise it will be very difficult to find the point of the planet by relying only on a telescope and the naked eye
You have to know where to look, as well as what to look for. Look at the stellar chart showing Saturn's trajectory and select the closest time from the recognized constellations.
- Starting from 2014, Saturn can be seen close to the constellation Libra, then a year after that in the constellation Scorpius. In May 2015, Saturn will move from east to west, returning to the constellation Libra. This could be the best chance for you to find Saturn.
- Over the course of ten years, Saturn will be moving constantly eastward in the northern part of the sky towards the constellation Capricornus.
- In 2017, Saturn will not be observable from Earth, because the planet will be too close to the Sun for us to be able to observe it.
Step 3. Find the date when Saturn is "opposite" to the Sun
This reversal of direction can bring Saturn to its closest point from Earth and has the brightest light in the sky. This can happen once in a period of 378 days. During this period of resistance, Saturn will be in the southern part of the northern sky which makes it very clear at midnight. The resistance period for the 2014-2022 period is as follows:
- May 10, 2014
- May 23, 2015
- June 3, 2016
- 15 June 2017
- 27 June 2018
- 9 July 2019
- 20 July 2020
- August 2, 2021
- August 14, 2022
Part 2 of 3: Finding Saturn's Position
Step 1. As a guide, find the constellation closest to Saturn's current position
Once you've found Saturn's trajectory, you'll need to determine the location of the constellation to determine the starting point for your search. Basically, you need to identify the nearest constellation and then use a graph of Saturn's position to pinpoint the point of view based on its relationship to that star.
- In 2014, the nearest constellation will be Libra, while in January 2016, Saturn will move towards the northern part of the star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. You can view Saturn's travel points here:
- If you are observing the planet Saturn when time is counterclockwise, then point your telescope towards the south.
Step 2. Look for objects that emit a golden color that glows continuously
Normally, Saturn will appear to have a golden yellow hue and will not shine like a star. Since Saturn is a planet, it does not emit its own light. Use the constellations as search points and look for objects of different colors.
Step 3. Use a telescope
While Saturn can be seen with the naked eye, it is a pity if you do not use a telescope to enjoy the beautiful view of Saturn's rings, which can be seen with ordinary telescopes. By using a telescope, your job can be made easier, because Saturn will appear in a different shape from other celestial bodies.
If you have a good telescope with a yellow filter, which can help isolate certain light in Saturn's spectrum, seeing the planet will be easier and more enjoyable
Step 4. Find the dark edges of the planet
The planet will be darkened by the shadows of its rings, it can give a nearly 3-dimensional view and can give better quality when viewed through a telescope.
Step 5. Observe Saturn's rings
If you have a good enough telescope to see Saturn's rings, you will notice that they are flat, but can give the planet a round, marble-like appearance. You should also be able to tell the difference between the ring belt (outer) and B (inside) of the planet's ring, which is the coldest part of the sky.
Step 6. Look at Saturn's moons
Besides being famous for its rings, Saturn is also famous for its many moons. If the timing is right and you have a powerful telescope, the moons can be seen at the front of the planet. Today there is even an app that can help you.
Part 3 of 3: Observing Right
Step 1. Understand the basic knowledge of observing celestial bodies
To get started, you don't need to know anything in particular, but a basic understanding of constellations and star charts can help you with your observations.
Step 2. Stay away from cities
If you live in an urban area, stay away from light pollution that can make it difficult for you to observe the sky even with a telescope or binoculars. Pick a good location or join an amateur astronomer in your city for tips from the club.
Step 3. Make observations on a clear night
There's nothing more frustrating when you've brought your gear, checked the charts, brought hot chocolate and then--poof--the clouds covered the sky. Be sure to find a night with good weather and clear skies. Follow weather patterns as you hope to find a suitable constellation or planetary constellation.
Step 4. Start by using the binoculars
Binoculars are objects that are quite easy to start working as an amateur astronomer. If you don't have a telescope, then use binoculars. Binoculars are easy to use and have the same quality as inexpensive telescopes.
- When you find comfort in finding celestial bodies and you want to find them even better, consider buying a good telescope for observation. Consider buying and sharing usage with other astronomers.
- To observe Saturn, an ordinary telescope is more than adequate for the novice astronomer. However, if you want to buy a good telescope, the NexStar telescope which costs around Rp. 10,000,000, - has a feature that can determine the position of celestial bodies by entering it into the program, while the professional 11-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope costs around Rp. 14,500,000, -. Find a telescope that fits your budget and commitment.
Step 5. Visit observatories in your area
Astronomers will be excited and enthusiastic to share what they know. You should learn from the experts, especially if you desire to find celestial bodies that change locations like Saturn.
- Pay attention to the exact schedule of visits during the observation period for any celestial bodies you are interested in, then use the methods and suggestions they provide for the next observation session.
- If you wish to make a visit, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is the most famous in America, while the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin and the McDonald Observatory in West Texas also offer similar options in different areas of the country.