Saturn has moved into the predawn eastern sky in Libra following its conjunction
behind the Sun on 2013 NOV 06. It reached western quadrature (90° from Sun) on 2014
FEB 11. Apparent retrograde motion commenced on MAR 03.
Saturn’s greatest brilliance for this apparition at magnitude +0.1 is expected
around MAY 05. Opposition from the Sun will occur on MAY 10 when it is also expected
to make its closest approach to Earth for this apparition at 8.8997 AU with an equatorial
angular diameter of 18.6 arcseconds. On that date the tilt of Saturn’s rings will
be +21.7°, implying that its north pole is tipping toward Earth.
Apparent direct motion for Saturn will resume on JUL 21 and eastern quadrature
will be reached on AUG 09. Saturn will eventually move to conjunction behind the
Sun on NOV 18.
Saturn will not appear near any first magnitude stars. It will appear near Mars
on 2014 AUG 25.
The Moon will appear to pass near Saturn on 2014 MAR 21, APR 17, MAY 14, JUN 10,
JUL 08, AUG 04, AUG 31, SEP 28 & OCT 25. Each of these will involve occultations
for observers on favored portions of the Earth.
NOTE: Events in this article are geocentric in Universal Time unless otherwise noted.
* A meridian transit occurs when a celestial body crosses an observer’s local north-south
line in the sky. That is practically simultaneous with culmination, i.e. the highest
altitude for the day. The Saturn meridian transit times in the above linked graph
can be easily transformed for your location. The given times are nearly the same
for the central meridians of all time zones, i.e. those evenly divisible by 15° such
as 75°, 90°, 105° or 120°. Do not adjust to UT. Simply add to the chart time 4 minutes
for each degree west of a central meridian, or subtract 4 minutes for each degree
to the east. If on daylight savings time, add an hour.