Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years on Monday, September 26, providing a treat for sky watchers that evening.
Also, Jupiter will be in opposition which means it will rise in the eastern sky as the Sun sets in the west and the largest planet in our solar system is especially visible in the evening sky.
“Outside the Moon, it must be one of the brightest objects (if not) in the night sky,” Adam Kobelsky, research astrophysicist at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, said in a statement.
Earth and Jupiter follow elliptical orbits rather than circular orbits, and the distance at which they pass through each other varies with time. On Monday, Jupiter will come within 367 million miles of Earth, compared with 600 million miles, which separates the two worlds when Jupiter is at the farthest point along its orbit from Earth.
Although Jupiter comes into opposition once every 13 months, the last time Jupiter came close to Earth was in 1963. a nasa blog, It is rare for Jupiter to pass close to Earth while in opposition.
Those hoping to catch the bright and relatively nearby Jupiter can see the eastern horizon around sunset in the days leading up to September 26, on that date and in the days after, all of which see the planet naked. Eyes should be allowed to see.
However, the closer approach and opposition will allow even more fascinating views of Jupiter for those who have access to binoculars or other optical equipment. You don’t need a lot of magnification for Jupiter and some of its more than 50 moons to get a good exposure.
“With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four Galilean satellites (the moons) should be visible,” Dr. Kobelsky continued in his statement. “It is important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-century optics.”
The Galilean moons are Jupiter’s largest natural satellites, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. NASA’s Europa Clipper mission may begin on its way to cover the icy moon, which scientists believe harbors a global subsurface ocean, as early as October 2020.
Those who want an even closer look should consider a telescope at least 4 inches or larger, and possibly green and blue filters, according to Dr. Kobelsky; These will increase the visibility of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the banding of cloud layers of the large gas giant planet.
“The views should be very good for the few days before and after September 26,” said Dr. Kobelsky. “So, take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to take in the sight.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /