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Ringed Saturn shines brightest on the night of Sunday, April 28


The planet will at its brightest in six years. Photo: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The planet will at its brightest in six years. Photo: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Staff writers

April 27, 2013 — On Sunday, April 28, Earth will be directly between Saturn and the sun.

Cast your eyes to the skies on Sunday, April 28, and be prepared to catch the brightest view of the planet Saturn that stargazers have seen in six years. 

The sixth planet from the sun will be reaching its "opposition" point -- when the earth will be directly between the sun and the ringed giant.

Sunday will also be when Saturn is closest to our own homeworld, at about 1.3 billion km.

The bombardment of the sun's rays will make the planet seem as bright as the brightest stars in the sky.

As a bonus, the planet is currently aligned such that people with even basic telescopes have a chance of catching a good glimpse of the planet's famous rings. The sunlight will be hitting them full-on.

The planet will rise at sunset and be visible throughout the overnight hours, but even when it has passed its opposition point, it will still be very visible in the night sky for several more weeks.

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