In practice, however, Saturn's orbit is very close to circular; its distance from the Sun only varies by about 11.5% between perihelion and aphelion. This means that the difference in the amount of heat and light it receives from the Sun between aphelion and perihelion is extremely small.
Saturn's distance from the Sun doesn't affect its appearance. From Cambridge, at the moment of aphelion it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:06 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 25° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:28.
The position of Saturn at the moment it passes aphelion will be:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
|The sky on 17 April 2018|
1 day old
All times shown in EDT.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.
|17 Apr 2018||– Saturn at aphelion|
|27 Jun 2018||– Saturn at opposition|
|02 Jan 2019||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|09 Jul 2019||– Saturn at opposition|