Star power on WA Day

Saturn will be visible on the right side of the moon.
Saturn will be visible on the right side of the moon.

On Monday evening June 1, the moon rises just after 4.30pm. The full moon isn�t until the night after, but it still makes for a delightful view.

About 6.30pm, a bright star-like object will reveal itself to the right of the moon.

It�s the ringed planet, Saturn. Saturn looks best right now because it is at, what astronomers call, �opposition.�

Opposition is when a celestial body is on the opposite side of Earth to the sun.

This happens to all planets that are farther away from the sun than Earth is. The inner planets, Mercury and Venus, can never be at �opposition�.

When planets are at �opposition�, it�s a great time to dust off the telescope and take a look. That�s because the planet is at its closest to Earth for the year.

Saturn has a dazzling set of rings surrounding it and these can be seen in small to medium telescopes.

The rings are an astonishing 100,000 km wide but are, on average, only about 1km deep.

That�s like a layer of tissue paper covering a football oval. The next game you attend won�t look the same.

n Stargazers Club WA is all about astronomy and stargazing for beginners. You don�t even need a telescope or any astronomy knowledge. Visitwww.stargazersclubwa.com.au or call Carol 0427 554 035.