Saturn, the Sun, and the Earth align tomorrow to allow the Cassini spacecraft to photograph the Earth next to a spectacular backlight Saturn. Normally the Earth is not visible from Saturn. At Saturn’s distance (roughly a billion miles) the Earth appears so close to the Sun it is lost to the glow. However, tomorrow afternoon between 3:27 and 3:42pm MDT Saturn will in a position to block out the sunlight allowing the Earth to become visible. It’s kind of a solar eclipse. Rather than the Moon coming between the Earth and Sun, Saturn will come between the Sun and the Cassini spacecraft. During this time Cassini will be snapping some pictures.
NASA is promoting a Wave at Saturn event which is to get people to go outside and wave at Saturn while the pictures are taken. Here in Aurora, and other locations, you will want to face east. Obviously you cannot see Saturn during the day, but it is there. Saturn will be about 15 degrees above the horizon and 30 degrees to your right (south of east). If you live east of Colorado Saturn will be higher in the sky, west of Colorado Saturn will be lower in the sky. In Los Angeles Saturn will be just above the horizon.
Granted no one will be able to see you in the image, but you can be part of the event, and that’s cool!
If you want to see Saturn wait until 9pm. Look south west about 30 degrees up. There will be two widely spaced bright stars. Saturn is the left one.
Wishing you clear skies