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Saturn at aphelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Saturn
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The sky at

Saturn's 29.5-year orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point to the Sun – its aphelion – at a distance of 10.07 AU.

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.

Finding Saturn

Saturn's distance from the Sun doesn't affect its appearance. From Fairfield, at the moment of aphelion it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:11 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 26° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:39.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

A chart of the path of Saturn across the sky in 2018 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Saturn at the moment it passes aphelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Saturn 18h38m20s -22°15' Sagittarius 0.2 17.1"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 17 April 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


1 day old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:24 11:30 17:36
Venus 07:15 14:26 21:36
Moon 07:35 14:23 21:12
Mars 01:48 06:24 10:59
Jupiter 21:20 02:27 07:29
Saturn 01:11 05:50 10:30
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.

Related news

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

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