Jupiter will be the shortest distance from Earth in nearly 60 years this Monday

Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, will be the smallest distance from Earth in 59 years this Monday (26/09). The phenomenon happens because on this date the gas giant reaches the so-called point of opposition. From the point of view of the Earth’s surface, opposition occurs when an astronomical object rises in the east while the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of our planet.

Jupiter opposition

Jupiter opposition occurs every 13 months, making the planet look bigger and brighter than at any other time of year. This year the phenomenon will be special, as the gas giant will also make its closest approach to Earth since 1963. This is because Earth and Jupiter do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles, which means that the planets pass each other at different distances from each other. throughout the year.

Observing the sky with binoculars

“Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition, which means the view this year will be extraordinary.”, says a NASA statement. At its closest approach, Jupiter will be approximately 590 million km away from Earth. When it reaches its furthest point from our planet, it is about 965 million km away.

“With good binoculars, the bands (at least Jupiter’s central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible,” said Adam Kobelski, an astrophysicist at NASA. “It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-century equipment,” he added. For optimal viewing, the researcher recommends looking for a high-altitude location in a dark, dry area.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

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