A Look At Saturn's Rings

Host Rebecca Roberts heads to a planetarium to learn more about Saturn.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

We tried to take Derrick Pitts' advice and find Saturn. We really did look in the night sky, but the weather just wouldn't cooperate. So we did the next best thing: We stopped into the planetarium at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center here in Washington, D.C.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. RON HARVEY (Ranger, Rock Creek Park Nature Center): My name is Ron Harvey, one of the rangers here in Rock Creek Park. Been here, affiliated with Rock Creek since 1999.

To find Saturn, and Saturn is something that you'll be able to see really throughout the entire spring, well into the summer, is all tied up in the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is something you'll be able to see as soon as the sun goes down.

The sun will go down in the west. Look in the complete opposite direction, you'll see the Big Dipper rising up from the horizon over on your left-hand side. Go up here to the top of the Dipper, the two stars that make the pan, those far two stars right over thereā€¦

ROBERTS: That was a very cool zooming effect.

Mr. HARVEY: Thank you, thank you. Imagine that those two stars, water is dripping out of it in a straight line, one, two, three, it's going to take you to a constellation known as Leo, and that is pretty much where Saturn is hanging out right now.

Saturn is actually going to be just below Leo. Right now in the springtime, it's kind of down here in its back paw, and even with a cheap pair of binoculars, you can actually go up, and you can actually zoom right into Saturn and see those beautiful rings onto it.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: