Jupiter will be at its brightest Monday. This is how to see it in Ontario.

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, will be closest to Earth in almost 60 years on Monday evening.

Rachel Ward-Maxwell, Ph.D., Researcher-Programmer, Astronomy & Space Sciences at the Ontario Science Centre, told CTV News Toronto the gas giant is in its opposition, meaning it is directly opposite the Sun from which, what we can see on earth .

“You can think of it like a sandwich. They’ve positioned Earth between the Sun and Jupiter, and when Jupiter is closest to us, it looks like one of the brightest objects in our sky,” she said. “In fact, it will be the brightest object in our sky tonight.”

The last time Jupiter was this close to Earth was 59 years ago, in 1963, and Ward-Maxwell says the next time it will be in 2129.

“The next opposition will be in November 2023,” Ward-Maxwell said. “But the time when it’s both brightest and closest will be over 100 years before it’s as close as it is now.”

While the planet is at its brightest on Monday evening, stargazers can still see Jupiter shining brightly over the next few nights. The planet will even be visible until early 2023.

HOW CAN I SEE JUPITER?

Jupiter will be visible in the eastern sky just after sunset at 7 p.m. EST, according to Ward-Maxwell, rising higher in the sky as the night progresses.

However, clear skies and unobstructed views are best for observing. According to the Weather Network, the Toronto forecast calls for rain and partly cloudy skies starting around 10 p.m

Because Jupiter is so close, you can see it without a telescope or binoculars. But if you have one of these, there are some additional bonuses.

“If you have good binoculars or a telescope — they don’t have to be very powerful ones — you might still be able to see some of the details or features of Jupiter,” Ward-Maxwell said. “Jupiter is a gas giant planet, it has cloud tops of different colors… you can see different cloud bands and different colors and the Great Red Spot, which is a huge storm on Jupiter.”

Stargazers with binoculars can even see Jupiter’s four largest moons.

Outside of Jupiter, Ward-Maxwell says Mars and Saturn will be visible in the sky, although they won’t be as bright.

WHERE CAN I SEE IT?

“Even if you’re in a light-polluted city, it will be so bright that you can certainly see it brighter than any star in our main sky,” Ward-Maxwell said.

If you plan to see Jupiter at sunrise or at sunset when the eastern sky is low, it is important to find a high place that is not blocked by surrounding trees or buildings.

Ward-Maxwell recommends going to a nearby park or, if you’re in Toronto, to the lakeside beaches for a glimpse of Jupiter.

“I think even if you could walk down the street and find a clear, clear view of the southeastern sky … you’ll be able to spot it,” she said. “You don’t have to go too far because it will be very bright and very high.”

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