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One-time event! Jupiter is closest to Earth in 70 years on THIS day! NASA reveals date

Jupiter and Earth will be closest in 70 years next week! Know when and how to see Jupiter at its greatest.

Skywatchers will have the unique chance next week to catch a glimpse of Jupiter at its greatest! Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, is poised to make its closest and opposite approach to Earth. NASA shared that “opposition” occurs when an astronomical object rises in the east while the sun sets in the west from Earth’s perspective. This brings the space object and the sun on opposite sides of the Earth. Similarly, Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, making the planet appear brighter and larger than the usual days.

However, it’s the largest planet’s closest approach to Earth that really makes it a special event and will soon be. After a 70-year hiatus, Jupiter and Earth will be closest! As a result, Earth and Jupiter pass each other at different distances throughout the year because their orbits around the sun are not perfectly round. Rarely does Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth coincide with its opposition, so this year’s view will be unique. Jupiter will be about 365 million miles from Earth when it makes its closest approach. At its furthest point, the giant planet is about 600 million miles from Earth.

When and how to catch a glimpse of Jupiter?

Stargazers don’t have to worry much! Because they can expect excellent views of Jupiter all night of Monday, September 26, when the giant planet will reach its opposition point with Earth and will have the clearest view. Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, suggested that with the help of good binoculars, at least the central band and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) will be visible.

However, to have a better view and capture Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and bands, you may need a telescope 4 inches or larger. Also, some filters in the green to blue range can improve the visibility of these features of Jupiter. Kobelski suggests that an ideal viewing location is at a high altitude in a dark and dry area. Best part? You can have the views a few days before and after September 26, just in case you miss the opportunity on this particular day.

Did you know?

Although Jupiter has 53 identified moons, researchers estimate that a total of 79 moons have been discovered. The Galilean satellites, named after Galileo Galilei, who observed Jupiter’s first four largest moons in 1610, are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

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