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Opposition of Saturn ( 1 January 2004 )

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Position of Saturn in the night sky at 8 pm on January 1

Opposition of Saturn happens when the Earth lies between the Sun and Saturn in a straight line. This year its ring inclination, thus the area reflecting sunlight, is still large and the planet will shine at -0.4 magnitude. Through a telescope, Saturn looks like an eye. The A ring, B ring and Cassini division in the ring system can also be easily discerned. In July 2004, the Cassini spacecraft of NASA will arrive at Saturn to commence its 4-year mission.


Saturn


Source of Photo credit: NASA