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The Moon slides by Saturn tomorrow morning

saturn

In December 20100, NASA's Cassini spacecraft, as well as ground-based observers, watched as Saturn's northern hemisphere unleased a massive belch of energy and ethylene gas that was visible in the clouds.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
The Moon moves eastward relative to the background stars an average of 13° every day, and early tomorrow morning (Friday, March 29), Earth's only satellite will pass within just 3° of Saturn.

The ringed planet rises around 3:15 a.m. local daylight time over the southeastern horizon. The Moon, which currently appears as a waning crescent, follows about 10 minutes later.

The two will hover near each other throughout the morning hours, and Saturn will remain a fixture in northeastern Sagittarius all week.

As one of the five brightest planets — along with Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury — magnitude 6 Saturn is easily visible to the naked eye. But in order to reveal the planet's glorious golden disk, you'll need to track down binoculars.

For those of you who can get your hands on a telescope and target the gas giant, you’ll see its 16"-diameter disk surrounding by a stunning ring system that spans 37" and tilts 24° to our line of sight.

For more quick and easy observing tips, check out The sky this week for March 22 to 31.
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