Jupiter to Reach Opposition, Closest Approach to Earth in 59 Years

As Jupiter approaches opposition on Monday, September 26, astronomers can anticipate good views of the giant planet throughout the entire night

Every 13 months, Jupiter is in opposition, making it look bigger and brighter than at any other period of the year. 

Jupiter will come as close to Earth as it has since 1963 - approximately 60 years ago! As a result, Earth and Jupiter pass each other at varying distances throughout the year because their orbits around the Sun are not perfectly round

Jupiter will be 367 million miles away from Earth when it makes its closest approach, which is around the same distance as it was in 1963

Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center said that with decent binoculars, "the banding (at least the centre band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible.

To see Jupiter's Great Red Spot and bands in greater detail, Kobelski advises using a larger telescope. A 4 inch or larger telescope and some filters in the green to blue spectrum might improve the visibility of these features.

Although Jupiter has 53 identified moons, researchers estimate that a total of 79 moons have been found. The Galilean satellites are the four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter for 6 years, is devoted to exploring the planet and its moons. Juno commenced its adventure in 2011 and reached Jupiter 5 years later.

Scientists trust analyzing Jupiter can result in step forward discoveries approximately the formation of the sun system. Juno’s challenge became lately prolonged till 2025 or till the quit of the spacecraft’s life.

The subsequent primary mission for Jupiter exploration is the Europa Clipper. This spacecraft will discover Jupiter’s iconic moon, Europa, which is thought for its icy shell and widespread ocean that lies under its surface.