What does the edge of the solar system look like?

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Livescience.com 02 August, 2021 - 06:03am 44 views

When can I see Saturn in the sky?

In August 2021, you can see the giant planet Jupiter and ringed planet Saturn from early evening until dawn. They're at their most glorious this month. Both of them will have an opposition, when they will appear opposite the sun as seen from Earth, in August. Saturn will be at opposition on August 1-2. EarthSkyEarthSky's August 2021 guide to visible planets

This year Saturn's northern hemisphere will be tilted in our direction at a slant that allows for a nice look at Saturn's rings.

Starting Monday (Aug. 2), you can find Saturn shining in the sky as part of a celestial phenomenon called opposition. Earth and the ringed planet will be on the same side of the sun and connected with our star by an invisible line, allowing skygazers on Earth to see a fully illuminated Saturn. Saturn reaches this brightest point at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) on Monday, according to the website EarthSky.org. It will be highest in the sky around midnight local time and located in the constellation Capricornus. 

Skywatchers will be able to spot several gems, the most obvious being Saturn's rings. This year, Saturn's northern hemisphere will be tilted in our direction at a slant that allows for a nice look at Saturn's rings inclined at an angle of 18 degrees with respect to Earth, according to the website In-The-sky.org. The angle should also allow sunlight to reflect off the icy rings to illuminate them from our perspective. 

Viewers may also get to see Titan, Saturn's largest moon. "Through a small telescope, Titan is actually pretty easy," astronomer Phil Plait told NPR. "If you take a look, you might see a little star right next to Saturn. That might very well be Titan — you can go online and find planetarium software" to confirm it, he said.

Carlos Blanco, a particle physicist at Princeton University and an avid skywatcher, told Space.com that he recommends viewing Saturn with a telescope that offers a narrow field of view and high magnification. 

"In the sky, planets are unique in that they are relatively bright but almost point-like, as opposed to the moon or the Andromeda galaxy, which extend several degrees in the sky," he said. 

"So to get a good look at them, you want to have a scope such that the image you see in the viewfinder is roughly as big as the planet. In other words, the circle that the viewer makes in the sky should be very tight around that point of light," he said. "Roughly speaking, the higher the magnification power of the telescope, the smaller the field of view, and vice versa."

Blanco recommends an 8-inch Dobsonian telescope; check out Space.com's list of this year's best telescopes for recommendations. 

Don't worry if you can't locate a telescope in time, because Saturn is one of the most distant objects that people can view in the sky with the naked eye. As a general rule of thumb, Plait recommends finding the brightest point in the night sky (after Venus has set, that is — that planet is easy to recognize because it shines low in the sky after sunset or before sunrise). That bright point is Jupiter, he told NPR, and Saturn will be the next-brightest point in the sky, west of Jupiter

Understanding how opposition works will help, too. Opposition occurs when a planet appears opposite the sun in Earth's sky. In this case, Saturn will climb high in the Northern Hemisphere's sky at night because it is opposite the sun, which is high in the sky on the daytime side. 

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See the rings of Saturn during annual astronomical phenomenon

UPI News 02 August, 2021 - 09:30am

This year Saturn's northern hemisphere will be tilted in our direction at a slant that allows for a nice look at Saturn's rings.

Starting Monday (Aug. 2), you can find Saturn shining in the sky as part of a celestial phenomenon called opposition. Earth and the ringed planet will be on the same side of the sun and connected with our star by an invisible line, allowing skygazers on Earth to see a fully illuminated Saturn. Saturn reaches this brightest point at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) on Monday, according to the website EarthSky.org. It will be highest in the sky around midnight local time and located in the constellation Capricornus. 

Skywatchers will be able to spot several gems, the most obvious being Saturn's rings. This year, Saturn's northern hemisphere will be tilted in our direction at a slant that allows for a nice look at Saturn's rings inclined at an angle of 18 degrees with respect to Earth, according to the website In-The-sky.org. The angle should also allow sunlight to reflect off the icy rings to illuminate them from our perspective. 

Viewers may also get to see Titan, Saturn's largest moon. "Through a small telescope, Titan is actually pretty easy," astronomer Phil Plait told NPR. "If you take a look, you might see a little star right next to Saturn. That might very well be Titan — you can go online and find planetarium software" to confirm it, he said.

Carlos Blanco, a particle physicist at Princeton University and an avid skywatcher, told Space.com that he recommends viewing Saturn with a telescope that offers a narrow field of view and high magnification. 

"In the sky, planets are unique in that they are relatively bright but almost point-like, as opposed to the moon or the Andromeda galaxy, which extend several degrees in the sky," he said. 

"So to get a good look at them, you want to have a scope such that the image you see in the viewfinder is roughly as big as the planet. In other words, the circle that the viewer makes in the sky should be very tight around that point of light," he said. "Roughly speaking, the higher the magnification power of the telescope, the smaller the field of view, and vice versa."

Blanco recommends an 8-inch Dobsonian telescope; check out Space.com's list of this year's best telescopes for recommendations. 

Don't worry if you can't locate a telescope in time, because Saturn is one of the most distant objects that people can view in the sky with the naked eye. As a general rule of thumb, Plait recommends finding the brightest point in the night sky (after Venus has set, that is — that planet is easy to recognize because it shines low in the sky after sunset or before sunrise). That bright point is Jupiter, he told NPR, and Saturn will be the next-brightest point in the sky, west of Jupiter

Understanding how opposition works will help, too. Opposition occurs when a planet appears opposite the sun in Earth's sky. In this case, Saturn will climb high in the Northern Hemisphere's sky at night because it is opposite the sun, which is high in the sky on the daytime side. 

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Saturn will shine bigger, brighter in the sky tonight. Here’s how you can see it.

KSAT San Antonio 02 August, 2021 - 09:30am

The Ringed Planet is reaching a big milestone for 2021 when it moves to opposition around 1 a.m., Aug. 2, which is a once-in-a-year occurrence, according to EarthSky.org.

“At opposition, Saturn rises in the east around sunset, climbs highest up for the night and sets in the west around sunrise,” EarthSky said.

Saturn will move directly opposite the Sun from Earth and can be seen all night long, according to NASA. The planet will also be at its brightest and will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight.

If you’re hoping to get an up-close glimpse of Saturn and its rings though, you’ll probably need a telescope, the Farmer’s Almanac said.

And, if you miss this instance of seeing Saturn, don’t worry. You’ll also be able to see Saturn in the evening sky for the rest of August and throughout the rest of the year.

“Saturn and Jupiter will stay rather close together on the sky’s dome throughout 2021. They’ll remain fixtures of the evening sky for the rest of this year,” according to EarthSky.

To learn more about Saturn and when to see it, click here.

Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.

Copyright © 2021 KSAT.com is managed by Graham Digital and pubished by Graham Media Group, a division of Graham Holdings.

What does the edge of the solar system look like?

Daily Express 02 August, 2021 - 06:03am

It's weirder than you may have imagined.

The new 3D map reveals even more about the heliosphere. The inner layer — where the sun and its planets are nestled — is roughly spherical and is thought to extend roughly 90 astronomical units (AU) in all directions. (One AU is the average distance between Earth and the sun, about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.) The outer layer is much less symmetrical. In one direction — that in which the ever-moving sun plows through the space in front of it, encountering cosmic radiation — the outer heliosphere extends about 110 AU, but in the opposite direction, it's much longer, at least 350 AU, according to Reisenfeld.

That lack of symmetry comes from the sun's movement through the Milky Way, as it experiences friction with the galactic radiation in front of it and clears out a space in its wake. "There's a lot of plasma [charged particles] in the interstellar medium, and… the inner heliosphere, which is pretty round, is an obstacle in this stream of plasma which is flowing past it," Reisenfeld told Live Science. "It has the same effect as water going around a rock in a stream," with a rush of water crashing into the rock in front and a sheltered calm behind it.

However, the boundaries may not stay this way in the long term. Reisenfeld noted that there is a correlation between the strength of the solar wind and the number of spots on the sun. A sunspot is a relatively dark patch that temporarily appears on the surface of the sun as a result of intense magnetic disturbances within. From 1645 to 1715, a period known to sun watchers as the Maunder minimum, there were very few sunspots, and thus there may have been only weak solar winds.

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"The sunspots disappeared for almost a century, and if that happens, the shape of the heliosphere could have also changed significantly," Reisenfeld said. "We do see variations in solar activity, and at any time, another Maunder minimum could happen. It's not a pie-in-the-sky concern to be worried that the [heliosphere’s] effectiveness at shielding could change over time."

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From Blue Moon to Jupiter and Saturn appearing bigger: Celestial events in August to watch out for- Technology News, Firstpost

Firstpost 02 August, 2021 - 05:19am

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In the month of August, stargazers and night sky watchers have a long list of exciting events lined up for them. From the blue moon to Jupiter and Saturn appearing bigger and brighter will be seen. Blue moons are uncommon but during this month, they will be prominent for young space scientists who love to watch them. Here is a list of all the events, take a look:

Wednesday and Thursday, 11 and 12 August: The Perseid meteors will perform in full glory. This is the most-watched meteor shower of the year where people wait for this special day. The best time to watch these fast-shooting stars is the post-midnight hours.

Friday, 20 August: Saturn would pass close to the moon about 3.8 degrees north of it. While Jupiter would pass near the blue moon on 22 August within 4.1 degrees of the moon. It will also be evident during that August week, where all three celestial bodies will appear unusually bright and closer. Meanwhile, these planets will appear to the naked eye as big bright stars.

Sunday, 22 August: The third of four full moons in an astrological season is a clear meaning of blue moon. On this day, the full moon will rise and be clearly seen. Also, the full moon in August is known as folklore. People who are interested can follow this link to get moonrise and moonset time in your area. Reports also suggest that the next seasonal Blue Moon will not be seen until 19 August 2024.

Jupiter and Saturn will be in opposition this month but their full brightness will be seen on the day of the full blue moon. It will be an easy view for skygazers, as they will not need to look too far to view Saturn, Jupiter, and the blue moon all on the same night.

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Saturn to come closest to Earth at 11.30 am today: Senior planetarium official

Mint 01 August, 2021 - 07:53pm

BHUBANESWAR : Saturn and Earth will be closest to each other in a year on August 2 at 11.30 am, said Dr Suvendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium.

People across the world that will be in their nighttime, will be able to see a bright Saturn, he told ANI.

"As per Indian Standard Time (IST) at 11.30 am, Saturn and Earth will be closest to each other. It will be daytime in India but wherever there is nighttime, people will see a bright Saturn," said Dr Pattnaik.

Earth takes about 365 days to orbit the sun while Saturn takes around 29.5 years for completing one full revolution of the sun, he informed.

"Once every year, Earth and Saturn come close to each other while revolving in their orbital path. In a time span of 1 year and 13 days they come closest to each other. Earlier, they came close on July 20, 2020 and will again do so on August 14, 2022," said the senior planetarium official.

He further said, "When they are very close to each other, the average distance will be around 120 crores kilometres, which is 50 crore kilometres less in comparison to the maximum distance between them, which happens after 6 months when Saturn will be across the other side of the Earth."

According to him, Saturn will appear bright even with naked eye and it can be seen throughout the night for the whole month of August.

"A few satellites of Saturn can also be seen with a small telescope," he added.

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