Saturn and Earth will be closest to each other in a year on August 2, 2021, and people all over the world that will be in their nighttime will be able to see the mammoth planet with rings at its brightest.
Dr. Suvendu Pattanaik, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, informed that in scientific terms, this is called Opposition.
It is a yearly event when Saturn or any other outer solar system planet can be seen at its closest point. At that time, it becomes the brightest as the planet comes closer to the Earth.
Saturn comes close to Earth: When to watch in India?
Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Dr. Suvendu Pattanaik informed that as per IST (Indian Standard Time) at 11.30 am in the morning, Saturn and Earth will come closest to each other.
It will be daytime in India, but in the places where there is nighttime, folks will be able to see a bright Saturn.
We’re sitting ringside!
Saturn is in opposition, forming a straight line with us and the Sun, and making its closest approach to Earth for the year. 🪐🌎🌞
— NASA Ames (@NASAAmes)
August 1, 2021
Saturn comes closest to Earth: Details
Dr. Suvendu Pattanaik while talking about the two planets coming closest to each other informed that the Earth takes about 365 days to orbit the sun. On the other hand, Saturn takes around 29.5 years to complete one full revolution of the sun.
He added that one time every year, both the planets come close to each other while revolving in their own orbital path. In a time span of 1 year and 13 days, Earth and Saturn come closest to each other.
Earlier, both the planets came close on July 20, 2020. They will again do so on August 14, 2022.
How to watch?
According to Dr. Pattanaik, Saturn will appear bright in the sky even with the naked eye. It can be seen throughout the night in entire August. Few of the satellites of Saturn will also be visible with a small telescope.
What is the distance once Earth and Saturn are close?
Dr. Suvendu Pattanaik stated that once both the planets are very close to each other, the average distance between them will be around 120 crores kilometers.
It is 50 crore kilometer less in comparison to the maximum distance between both the planets, which happens after six months when Saturn will be across the other side of the Earth.