Dr Pattnaik said, “as per Indian Standard Time (IST) at 11.30 am, Saturn and Earth will be closest to each other. It will be daytime in India but wherever there is nighttime, people will see a bright Saturn”. Earth takes about 365 days to orbit the sun while Saturn takes around 29.5 years for completing one full revolution of the sun, he informed.
“Once every year, Earth and Saturn come close to each other while revolving in their orbital path. In a time span of 1 year and 13 days they come closest to each other. Earlier, they came close on July 20, 2020 and will again do so on August 14, 2022,” said the senior planetarium official.
He further said, “When they are very close to each other, the average distance will be around 120 crores kilometres, which is 50 crore kilometres less in comparison to the maximum distance between them, which happens after 6 months when Saturn will be across the other side of the Earth.”
“A few satellites of Saturn can also be seen with a small telescope,” he added.
According to him, Saturn will appear bright even with naked eye and it can be seen throughout the night for the whole month of August.