Saturn In Retrograde

May 3, 2019

From the Earth we view the brighter outer planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn moving in their orbits around the Sun in an easterly direction.  At times these planets seem to stop in their eastward motion and reverse direction towards the west for a few months before they resume their normal eastward motion   Astronomers call this retrograde motion. 

This movement is an illusion caused by Earth’s passing these slower moving planets on an inside track.

During April Saturn can be seen in the pre-dawn skies.

On Monday, April 29th Saturn, in the constellation Sagittarius,  stops it motion east as seen from Earth  and begins a retrograde motion westward that lasts until September. 

Telescopes show Saturn’s moon Titan. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest moon in the Solar System.   NASA landed an unmanned probe called Huygens on Titan in 2005.  It found Titan has an atmosphere of Methane with liquid methane rivers, lakes and seas.