See Saturn’s moons reach beyond the rings

Enceladus and Mimas reach greatest eastern elongation tonight and show up under good viewing conditions. 
By | Published: September 20, 2018 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Saturn and its moons
Morales imaged Saturn and 4 of its moons from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, in April 2007 to create this composite view. From left to right, the moons are Rhea, Tethys, Dione, and Enceladus.Equipment used: 10-inch Meade LX200 telescope and DMK 21F04 CCD camera
Saturn and its rings always look wonderful when viewed through a telescope, but this evening provides a great opportunity to target the planet’s moons through an 8-inch or larger instrument. 

Two inner moons — 12th-magnitude Enceladus and 13th-magnitude Mimas — reach greatest eastern elongation within an hour of each other and show up under good viewing conditions. 

The viewing is especially good tonight because the bright glare of Saturn’s rings normally masks these moons when they lie closer to the planet. 

You can find the two moons tonight standing just beyond the rings’ edge halfway between the 10th-magnitude satellites Dione and Tethys.

Plan observing targets for every night by catching up with Astronomy‘s The Sky This Week column.