Here in the northeastern United States, skies are going to be clear tonight, Wednesday, July 19th, and it’s a great night to get out to see bright objects.
The Moon will be our tour guide – just to the upper right of the Moon tonight – that bright star is the planet Saturn. Saturn will still be about the same place the next few weeks, but the Moon will move on to the left, further away each night.
So tonight is a good night to see Saturn in your telescope – search for my other posts to see what Saturn looks like in a small telescope. Tonight focus on seeing Saturn’s rings and its brightest moon, Titan in the telescope view. (The brighter object to the upper right of Saturn is a star.) If you can’t seen some of the fainter moons of Saturn, try again when the Moon isn’t nearby to dazzle your eyes with its glare.
Start with Saturn and save the view of the Moon until later, since after you look at the Moon in your telescope, you’ll lose much of your ability to see in the dark. But the Moon is well worth the look, as well. It’s wonderful in any telescope or binoculars, although you’ll need a telescope or good spotting scope to see Saturn’s rings.
See the photos and graphics below……click on ‘skychart’ to get a skychart, in pdf form, for the entire evening sky for Wed, June 19 (also good for the rest of June, except for the Moon- the Moon will move further left each night)
Here’s a photo that shows Saturn and the similarly bright star Spica, as you would see them together in the sky. The Moon is not in this photo, since I took it several nights ago.
All of this, except for the weather forecast, is good for anywhere in the northern hemisphere. Saturn will be lower in the sky if you are further north than my location at 41 degrees north. The Moon will be closer to Saturn in the Eastern Hemisphere, and further to the left on the west coast of the US and Asia.