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Spectacular Saturn occulted by the Moon

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Viewing the planet Saturn through a telescope for the first time is often remembered as a distinctive and special moment for all! It is a spectacular planet to see with its butterscotch colour and ethereal rings of ice and rock.

A mere 1.5 billion kilometres away from Earth, Saturn is nine times the diameter of Earth and its unique ring system amazingly, stretches out 480,000 km, farther than the Moon is from Earth.

Come and see Saturn through telescopes at the Wannamal Stargazing Campfire Night on 7 September. Stargazers Club WA will be there to give you a close-up view of this amazing planet and much more. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/wannamal-stargazing-campfire-tickets-67747415343.

To add to Saturn’s brilliance, in early September the planet will be occulted by the Moon. An occultation is a fantastic phenomenon to see. An occultation occurs when one celestial body goes behind another. In this instance, Saturn will be occulted (or go behind) the Moon on the evening of 8 September.

When to look: Sunday 8 September 2019. The following times are approximate. It’s best to keep an eye on Saturn in the hour or so leading up to the occultation. Saturn will disappear at approximately 10.01pm and reappear at 11.02pm.

Look to the north west. It may be difficult to see this with the naked eye, but it’s definitely worth having a look. The Moon will be bright but because Saturn is a bright object as well, you should be able to see it disappear behind the side of the Moon that’s not lit by the Sun. If you have a telescope, it is worth having a closer look.