Observing

See the Moon get close to Saturn and Mars in the early morning sky

4 May 2018 Ade Ashford

Although Jupiter close to opposition may be stealing the other naked-eye planets’ thunder, there’s lots more to see if you’re an early riser on the weekend of 5–6 May. About an hour before sunrise finds Mars and Saturn less than the span of an outstretched hand at arm’s length apart in the UK southern sky, with the waning gibbous Moon acting as a convenient guide to each planet on successive mornings.

Picture This

Cassini’s view of Saturn’s rings still dazzling

1 May 2018 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft plunged into the atmosphere of Saturn in 2017, concluding a hugely successful mission to explore the planet, its rings and icy moons. The spacecraft’s close-up images of Saturn’s ring system likely will remain unmatched for decades to come.