See! Jupiter will reach closest to Earth in 59 years on Monday for ‘extraordinary’ sightings

Stargazer, look up! Jupiter will be closest to Earth in 59 years on Monday for ‘extraordinary’ views – even though it’s 367M miles away

  • Jupiter will reach closest to Earth on Monday night since 1963
  • At closest point the planet will be 367 million miles from us
  • The giant planet will rise in the east as the sun sets in the west – placing Jupiter and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth
  • A good telescope should show banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (the Moon), says a NASA scientist.

When Jupiter makes its closest approach to Earth on Monday evenings since 1963, stargazers are in for quite a treat.

The giant planet, which will be 367 million miles from us at its closest point, is reaching its opposition next week. This simply means that the planet will rise in the east as the Sun sets in the west – placing Jupiter and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth.

The giant planet is about 600 million miles away from Earth at its farthest point. Although Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, it is unique.

Stargazers are in for quite the show when Jupiter makes its closest approach to Earth on Monday evenings since 1963.  Above: The Great Red Spot, an Earth-sized storm that has been raging for hundreds of years, in this photo of Jupiter taken with the Hubble Space Telescope on June 27, 2019.

Stargazers are in for quite the show when Jupiter makes its closest approach to Earth on Monday evenings since 1963. Above: The Great Red Spot, an Earth-sized storm that has been raging for hundreds of years, in this photo of Jupiter taken with the Hubble Space Telescope on June 27, 2019.

That’s because Earth and Jupiter don’t orbit the Sun in perfect circles—meaning they pass each other at different distances throughout the year.

Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition, meaning this year’s views will be ‘extraordinary’ according to NASA.

Although Jupiter is one of the few planets that can be seen with the naked eye, NASA still recommends using some sort of instrument.

“With a good telescope, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four Galilean satellites (the moons) should be visible,” said Adam Kobelsky, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Statement.

The giant planet, which will be 367 million miles from us at its closest point, is reaching its opposition next week.  For the best views, NASA recommends a pair of binoculars or a 4-inch binoculars.

The giant planet, which will be 367 million miles from us at its closest point, is reaching its opposition next week. For the best views, NASA recommends a pair of binoculars or a 4-inch binoculars.

'The views for the few days before and after September 26 should be very good,' Kobelsky explained.  'So, take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to take in the sight.  Outside the Moon, it must be one of the brightest objects (if not) in the night sky.'  Above: Jupiter, along with its three largest moons, can be seen as the moon climbs Mount Wasatch near Salt Lake City on February 27, 2019.

‘The views for the few days before and after September 26 should be very good,’ Kobelsky explained. ‘So, take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to take in the sight. Outside the Moon, it must be one of the brightest objects (if not) in the night sky.’ Above: Jupiter, along with its three largest moons, can be seen as the moon climbs Mount Wasatch near Salt Lake City on February 27, 2019.

‘It is important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-century optics. A major requirement for any system you use will be a stable mount.’

A 4-inch or larger telescope will allow observers to see Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and band in greater detail.

Kobelsky said an ideal viewing location would be in a dark and dry area at high altitudes.

‘The views for the few days before and after September 26 should be very good,’ Kobelsky explained. ‘So, take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to take in the sight. Outside the Moon, it must be one of the brightest objects (if not) in the night sky.’

The US space agency notes that Jupiter has no fewer than 53 named moons out of 79 that are believed to have been detected in total, including the four largest: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. .

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter for six years — providing scientists with images and data of the giant planet’s atmosphere, structures and magnetic field since then.

Juno’s mission was recently extended until 2025, or the end of the spacecraft’s life.

Europa Clipper, a spacecraft that will explore Jupiter’s moon known for its icy shell and vast ocean, is scheduled to launch in October 2024 and arrive at Jupiter in April 2030.

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