[UPDATE, 8/1/14: We've had to cancel the skywatching session for Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, thanks to the weather forecast.]

If it’s visible in the night sky, the object that generates the most gasps and exclamations of “wow!” from telescope viewers at our skywatching sessions is Saturn.

Saturn is the showpiece of the night sky. If you have never seen this planet through a telescope, you owe it to yourself to put it on your life’s to-do list.

Smile! You’re in this picture. In this image taken by the Cassini spacecraft on July 19, 2013, Earth is a tiny dot in the distance. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Of course, in a backyard telescope Saturn won’t look quite like it does in the accompanying image, which was taken by the Cassini spacecraft. But you will be able to see Saturn’s rings.

We hope to glimpse Saturn at our next skywatching session, scheduled for this coming Saturday, August 2, 2014, from 9 to 11 p.m. at Jordan Lake (Ebenezer Church Recreation Area).

Unfortunately, at this writing, the weather forecast looks dismal, and we may need to cancel. Before you head out to this or any other skywatching session, always check Morehead’s website to make sure there isn’t a cancellation notice. We also usually post updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Although poor weather may force us to cancel skywatching this Saturday, we’ll try again at Jordan Lake on Saturday, September 6, 2014. Saturn will still be in the evening sky, and it’s also International Observe the Moon Night.

The runner-up for gasps at the telescopes is the Moon.



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