Jupiter's closest approach to Earth in 59 years. NASA gives details

Published on Sep 24, 2022 06:38 PM IST

Jupiter will be approximately 590 million-km distant from Earth at the moment, as it was in 1963. At its farthest, Jupiter is over 965 million-km away from Earth.

Jupiter's opposition occurs every 13 months.(NASA Webb Instagram)
Jupiter's opposition occurs every 13 months.(NASA Webb Instagram)
By | Edited by Sohini Goswami

Jupiter - the biggest planet in our solar system- will be in opposition from the viewpoint of Earth’s surface in 59 years - a potential delight for stargazers. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), spectacular views of the gas giant will be available for the entire night of September 26.

While Jupiter's opposition occurs every 13 months, this time it will be different for a reason. Jupiter will reach its closest approach to Earth on Monday, coinciding with opposition. As a result, stargazers will have rare views of the massive planet.

Jupiter will be approximately 590 million-km distant from Earth at the moment, as it was in 1963. At its farthest, Jupiter is over 965 million km away from Earth.

“With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible,” said Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-Century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use", said Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in a press statement.

To see the massive planet’s Great Red Spot and bands in more detail, Kobelski recommended a larger telescope – a 4-inch or larger telescope and some filters in the green to the blue range would enhance the visibility of these features.

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

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kanishka is a journalist at Hindustan Times’ news desk. When not in newsroom, you will find her on streets of Delhi exploring food cafes or capturing world through her lens.

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