2015 APPARITION OF SATURN
Ringed Saturn has entered the eastern predawn sky following its conjunction behind the Sun on 2014 NOV 18. Western quadrature (90° from Sun) will be reached on 2015 FEB 23. Apparent retrograde motion will commence on MAR 14.
Greatest brilliance for this apparition is expected around 2015 MAY 20 at magnitude +0.0. Opposition from the Sun will occur on MAY 23 when the planet will be out all night. On that date Saturn will have a southerly declination of 18.3°. Its axial tilt will be +24.4°, meaning its north pole will be tilted toward Earth while its rings are prominently displayed. Also on that date it will be at its closest to Earth for this apparition at 8.9667 AU with an equatorial angular diameter of 18.5 arcseconds.
Apparent direct motion will resume on 2015 AUG 02. Eastern quadrature will be reached on AUG 21 before conjunction behind the Sun on NOV 30.
Saturn will appear to pass north of Antares by 8.4° on 2015 MAR 12. The Moon will appear to pass by Saturn on 2015 JAN 16, FEB 13, MAR 12, APR 08, MAY 05, JUN 01, JUN 29, JUL 26, AUG 22, SEP 19, OCT 16 & NOV 13.
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-
© Curt Renz