How to see Jupiter as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 59 years – National

Stargazers gazing at the sky on Monday evening will be able to clearly see Jupiter as it approaches its closest point in 59 years.

In fact, NASA says the gas giant’s banding and several of its moons should be visible with good binoculars.

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The giant planet becomes visible when it reaches opposition, meaning it will rise in the east as the sun sets in the west – a phenomenon that occurs every 13 months and usually makes objects in the sky appear brighter and closer than normal.

“Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition,” NASA said, “meaning this year’s prospects will be exceptional.”

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“Outside the moon, it should be one of the brightest objects in the night sky,” NASA astrophysicist Adam Kobelski explained in a blog post.

Jupiter hasn’t come this close to Earth since 1963 because Earth and Jupiter don’t orbit the Sun in perfect circles. The planets pass each other at different distances throughout the year.

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On Monday night, the planet will be 561 million kilometers from Earth, the same distance as it was in 1963. At its furthest point, Jupiter will be about 966 million kilometers from our planet.

NASA says the best way to see Jupiter at its best is to find a high place in an area that is dry and dark. You recommend a good binoculars, but if you want to have even better view, you should consider a telescope on a stand.

Four of Jupiter’s largest moons — Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto — will be visible with the help of binoculars or a telescope, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet during opposition. Patient observers can watch these moons orbit the planet night after night.

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“The view should be great for a few days before and after September 26,” Kobelski said. “So take advantage of the good weather on both sides of this date to enjoy the sight.

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Jupiter will climb into the southeastern sky at around 11:00 p.m. ET, but start his transit around 8:44 p.m.

Saturn will also be visible in the sky around 10:00 p.m. ET, but it may be a little harder to spot because it’s not as bright as Jupiter.

Several free apps are available if you need a little help finding Jupiter’s location. Sky View, Stellarium and Star Walk are available for smartphones and can help you map the night sky by pointing your phone’s camera upwards.

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