Home / News / World /  Jupiter closest to Earth in 59 years today, See how to watch

The stargazers can expect excellent views of Jupiter the entire night today, September when the giant planet reaches opposition, informed the American Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will make its closest approach to Earth since 1963 – almost six decades ago, on Monday. The massive planet is approximately 600 million miles away from Earth at its farthest point.

From the viewpoint of Earth’s surface, opposition happens when an astronomical object rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth, according to an official statement by NASA.

“Stargazers: Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years! Weather-permitting, expect excellent views on Sept. 26. A good pair of binoculars should be enough to catch some details; you’ll need a large telescope to see the Great Red Spot," the American Space Agency tweeted.

Jupiter appears larger and brighter every 13 months than any other time of the year. But this time, the planet will also make its closest approach to Earth since 1963. This is happening because Earth and Jupiter do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles – meaning the planets will pass each other at different distances throughout the year.

It’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition, which means this year’s views will be extraordinary. At its closest approach, Jupiter will be approximately 367 million miles in distance from Earth, about the same distance it was in 1963.

Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama said that the banding and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible with good binoculars.

“It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use," Kobelski said in an official statement posted by NASA.

The reseacher further recommends a larger telescope to see Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and bands in more detail, a 4 inch-or-larger telescope and some filters in the green to blue range would enhance the visibility of these features.

“The views should be great for a few days before and after September 26. So, take advantage of good weather on either side of this date to take in the sight. Outside of the Moon, it should be one of the (if not the) brightest objects in the night sky," Kolbelski said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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