Solar System Phenomena — Saturn in 2022

The path of Saturn against the background stars in 2022

The upper chart shows the path of Saturn across the background stars over the course of the year. Stars to magnitude +8.5 are shown. The white circles represent the planet on the first day of the month and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint paths before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next. In general, the planet moves from right to left except when it's in retrograde and proceding in the opposite direction.

The lower chart shows how the appearance of Saturn changes over the year. Below each image is listed the date, the apparent magnitude, the apparent diameter of the disk (in arc-seconds), the geocentric distance (in au) and the opening angle of the rings. Note that the tilt of Saturn's rings varies subtly throughout the year.

The ringed planet resides in the constellation Capricornus the entire year. It is visible in the evening sky in January but soon vanishes below the horizon, with conjunction at the beginning of February. It emerges in the dawn sky late in February and is most easily spotted from southern latitudes where it rises earlier and sets later. Opposition takes place in August when the planet is visible all night. After this, Saturn is primarily an evening sky object. The rings are at their most open (17.6°) at the beginning of the year, closing to a minimum of 12.3° in June before opening again. The next ring plane crossing is in 2025 so the tilt of the rings will continue to decrease year on year until that date.

01 Januarymaximum declination south
maximum ring opening: 17.6°
04 Februaryconjunction
02 Marchplanetary conjunction: 0.7° north of Mercury
28 Marchplanetary conjunction: 2.1° south of Venus
05 Aprilplanetary conjunction: 0.3° north of Mars
15 Maywest quadrature
30 Maymaximum declination north
01 Juneminimum ring opening: 12.3°
05 Junestationary in right ascension: direct → retrograde
14 Augustopposition: magnitude +0.3, apparent diameter 18.8 arc-seconds
22 Octoberlocal maximum ring opening: 15.3°
23 Octoberstationary in right ascension: retrograde → direct
11 Novembereast quadrature
The tilt of Saturn's rings in 2022


The dates, times and circumstances of all planetary and lunar phenomena were calculated from the JPL DE406 solar system ephemeris using the same rigorous methods that are employed in the compilation of publications such as The Astronomical Almanac.