National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Science & Technology
Ringside Seats for Saturn

Saturn reaches opposition -- the closest it comes to Earth -- on Jan. 27, 2006. On this date, golden Saturn rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west. It will be visible all night long.

A planet is in opposition when it is on one side of Earth directly opposite the Sun on the other side. As a result, it appears fully illuminated by the Sun. Opposition brings Saturn a mere 1,215 million kilometers (755 million miles) from Earth.

Saturn Reaches Opposition
Saturn Reaches Opposition

January through June are the best months to view Saturn this year. In late January, if you wait a few hours after sunset you'll be rewarded with better views through the telescope. Even the smallest telescope will reveal a golden orb surrounded by Saturn's amazing rings. You may even spot one or more of Saturn's moons orbiting the planet.

For more Saturn viewing information, visit the Saturn Observation Campaign viewing page.

Last Updated: 7 February 2011

Science Features
Astronomy Features
Technology Assessment Reports
Sungrazing Comets


Best of NASA Science
NASA Science Highlights
Technology Features
Lectures & Discussions

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 7 Feb 2011