Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and is the second largest planet in the Solar System after Jupiter. It has a diameter of 116,460 kilometers and a mass of 5.68 x 10^26 kilograms, making it approximately 95 times more massive than Earth. Saturn is a gas giant planet with a composition similar to Jupiter, primarily composed of hydrogen and helium with trace amounts of other gases. The planet is famous for its extensive ring system, consisting of numerous narrow, bright rings composed of ice particles, rock debris, and dust. Saturn has a day length of 10.7 hours and an orbital period of 29.4 Earth years. The planet has 82 known moons, with the largest being Titan, a moon with a thick atmosphere and the only known moon with stable liquid on its surface. The planet has been explored by multiple spacecraft, including NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission, which spent 13 years in orbit around Saturn and its moons.
The current Right Ascension of Saturn is 22h 15m 48s and the Declination is -12° 33’ 34” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom ). The current magnitude of Saturn is 0.90 (JPL).
- Saturn is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom .
- Right now it is placed in the South-West direction at an altitude of 12° above the horizon.
- Given its current magnitude, Saturn is visible to the naked eye, easy and bright under dark skies, might be more difficult from heavily light polluted areas.
- Go to interactive sky chart
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Saturn Position and Finder Charts
Below we provide Saturn finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.
Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Saturn is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.
Also check out Where is Saturn?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Saturn in the sky and additional links to sky charts.
Saturn Distance from Earth
The distance of Saturn from Earth is currently 1,493,530,021 kilometers, equivalent to 9.983632 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1 hours, 23 minutes and 1.8799 seconds to travel from Saturn and arrive to us.
The following chart shows the distance of Saturn from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.
The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of Saturn from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.
Closest Approach of Saturn to Earth
Between 1 January 1600 and 30 December 2499, the closest approach of Saturn to Earth happens on Wed Dec 11 1619 at a distance of 8.012797 Astronomical Units, or 1,198,697,442 kilometers:
NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.
Saturn Brightness and Light Curve
The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Saturn, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.
Saturn Physical Data
The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Saturn. Source: JPL Small-Body Database
|Physical Parameter||Value||Relative to Earth|
|Mass||568.319 x 1024 kg||95.1609|
|Escape Velocity||36.09 km/s||3.2252|
|Sideral Rotation||10.6562 hours||0.4452|
Saturn 15 Days Ephemeris
The following table lists the ephemerides of Saturn computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Saturn in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.
|Date||Right AscensionR.A.||DeclinationDec.||MagnitudeMag||Apparent DiameterDiameter||Constellation|
|2023 Dec 03||22h 14m 11s||-12° 43’ 32”||0.87||16.3”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 04||22h 14m 22s||-12° 42’ 23”||0.87||16.3”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 05||22h 14m 34s||-12° 41’ 11”||0.88||16.2”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 06||22h 14m 45s||-12° 39’ 57”||0.88||16.2”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 07||22h 14m 57s||-12° 38’ 41”||0.89||16.2”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 08||22h 15m 11s||-12° 37’ 24”||0.89||16.2”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 09||22h 15m 24s||-12° 36’ 05”||0.89||16.1”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 10||22h 15m 37s||-12° 34’ 44”||0.90||16.1”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 11||22h 15m 51s||-12° 33’ 20”||0.90||16.1”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 12||22h 16m 05s||-12° 31’ 55”||0.90||16.1”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 13||22h 16m 18s||-12° 30’ 29”||0.91||16.0”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 14||22h 16m 33s||-12° 28’ 59”||0.91||16.0”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 15||22h 16m 49s||-12° 27’ 29”||0.91||16.0”||Aquarius|
|2023 Dec 16||22h 17m 03s||-12° 25’ 56”||0.91||16.0”||Aquarius|