Jupiter to come closest to Earth in 70 years! Check date, how to watch

Jupiter, the gas giant and largest planet in the solar system appears closest to planet Earth on September 26; this will be the closest it will appear in the last 70 years.

When does Jupiter’s opposition occur?

Regarding Earth, opposition occurs when two astronomical objects are on opposite sides of Earth. When the Sun sets in the west, an astronomical object rises from the east just at the same time, this phenomenon places the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth.

When Jupiter’s opposition happens it makes the planet appear larger and brighter than it appears at any other point of time in the year. This event occurs every 13 months. As per NASA, this time, it’s not only Jupiter’s perfect placement but also an event where the planet will appear closest to Earth in the last 70 years.

It will be a stargazer’s delight to get a brilliant view of Jupiter as it reaches opposition on September 26!

Earth and Jupiter cross each other at different distances as they pass one another in their orbits over a year since they do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles.

This year’s view of the largest planet in the solar system will be extraordinary, as Jupiter’s opposition coincides with its closest approach to Earth. The distance between Earth and Jupiter as it makes the closest approach this year will be 365 million miles.

When and Where can the Stargazers Watch Jupiter?

Stargazers can expect extraordinarily brilliant views of Jupiter all through the night on Monday, September 26.

There will be no need for high-end equipment to view the planet. A person having a decent pair of binoculars will also be able to see the banding of Jupiter. They will also be able to view three to four of the gas giant’s big moons or the Galilean Satellites.

Although 79 of its moons have been detected so far, Scientists have named 53 of Jupiter’s moons. Out of these, the four largest moons named Ganymede, Io, Callisto, and Europa are known as the Galilean satellites.

What kind of arrangements are needed for better views of Jupiter?

NASA’s research astrophysicist, Adam Kobelski, suggests that whatever system one might use, a stable mount will be a must to have a clear view. He recommended a 4-inch-or-larger telescope and a few green to blue filters to view the Great Red Spot and bands of Jupiter in detail. One should choose a high elevation spot in a dark and dry area for an ideal view. On that night, Jupiter will appear as one of the brightest objects in the sky apart from the Moon.

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