29 April 2009

Saturn, the Lion, the Moon

Saturn is visible high in the evening sky for the coming months. The ringed planet is a gem to see through a telescope so if you have a telescope now is the time to get it out and take a look at one of the most impressive sights in all of the universe.

Saturn, like all the other planets and the Moon, travels around the Solar System in a path called the Ecliptic. This path extends through twelve constellations known as the Zodiac. Saturn, which takes nearly 30 earth-years to travel around the Sun once, spends about two and a half years moving through each sign of the Zodiac and is presently moving gradually eastward through Leo the Lion. This constellation is a favorite for many because its shape is quite distinctive and resembles a Lion in the sky with its furry mane and head pointed to the west and its tail and hind quarters to the east. As you can see in the diagram, Saturn is below the constellation and to the left (east) of the bright star Regulus.

1 comment:

Sidewalk Universe said...

What a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Moon, Saturn,Constellations and celestial motion at the same time in a convenient easy to see portion of the sky! Check it out folks - Paul is leading you in the right direction! There is a bunch happening here!

Paul thanks for keeping the public up to speed on these things!