Look for! Jupiter will come closest to Earth in 59 years on Monday for ‘amazing’ sights

Dear astronomers, look up! Jupiter will come closest to Earth in 59 years on Monday for ‘amazing’ views – even though it is 367 million kilometers away

  • Jupiter will reach its closest approach to Earth since 1963 on Monday evening
  • The planet will be 367 million miles from us at the closest point
  • The gigantic planet will rise in the east as the sun sets in the west – putting Jupiter and the sun on opposite sides of Earth
  • “With good binoculars, the bands (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible,” said a NASA scientist.

Astronomers are in for a treat when Jupiter reached its closest approach to Earth since 1963 on Monday evening.

The giant planet, which will be 367 million kilometers from us at its closest point, reaches its opposition next week. This simply means that the planet will rise in the east while the sun will set in the west – putting Jupiter and the sun on opposite sides of Earth.

The massive planet is about 600 million miles from Earth at its furthest point. Although Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, this one is unique.

Astronomers are in for quite a spectacle when Jupiter reaches its closest approach to Earth since 1963 on Monday evening. Above: This photo of Jupiter, taken from the Hubble Space Telescope on June 27, 2019, shows the Great Red Spot, an Earth-sized storm that has been raging for hundreds of years.

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

Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth almost never coincides with opposition, meaning views this year will be “amazing”, according to NASA.

Although Jupiter is one of the few planets visible to the naked eye, NASA still recommends using some type of instrument.

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

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

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

“The view should be great for a few days before and after Sept. 26,” Kobelski explained. So take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to take in the view. Outside of the Moon, it should be one of (if not the) brightest objects in the night sky Above: As the Moon rose over the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City on February 2. On February 27, 2019, the planet Jupiter could be seen, along with three of its largest moons

It is important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th century optics. One of the main needs will be stable support for whatever system you use.

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

Kobelski said an ideal vantage point would be at high altitude in a dark, dry area.

“The view should be great for a few days before and after Sept. 26,” Kobelski explained. So take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to take in the view. Outside of the Moon, it should be one of (if not the) brightest objects in the night sky.

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

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has orbited Jupiter for six years, providing scientists with images and data of the gigantic planet’s atmosphere, structures and magnetic field ever since.

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

The 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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