Jupiter has never been closer to Earth in the past 59 years than on this particular date. Don’t miss this fascinating spectacle.
Earlier this year we witnessed the very special ‘five planets alignment’ when Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were seen in a straight line in the night sky. But now something rare is about to happen. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, will get closer to Earth than it has in the past 59 years. This is a big moment, as the majority of the living population has never seen the gas giant so close to us. And with modern technology such as astronomical telescopes or even binoculars, anyone can take a look at the majestic Jupiter. So if you are an astronomy enthusiast, don’t miss this fascinating spectacle. The date of the event is September 26. Read on for more details.
Jupiter breaks 59-year-old record to get close to Earth
During this event, Jupiter will be directly on the far side of the sun. This is called opposition and it is not uncommon. Every 13 months, Earth and Jupiter come into a position of opposition. But what’s really fascinating this time around is that this event rarely coincides with the planet’s perigee. Perigee of any celestial body moving in a fixed orbit is defined as the point in its orbit closest to Earth.
This means you can see Jupiter shining unusually bright in the night sky during the buildup period through September 26 and a few days after that. If you can get your hands on binoculars or a telescope, you can also get a closer look at the gas giant.
“Take advantage of good weather on either side of this date to enjoy the view. Outside of the moon, it should be one of the (if not the) brightest objects in the night sky. With good binoculars, the banding – at least the central band – and three or four of the Galilean satellites should be visible. It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-century optics,” said Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama in a NASA statement. told space.com.
How the technology in modern telescopes can show you Jupiter
According to a NASA after“Most telescopes today use curved mirrors to collect light from the night sky. The shape of the mirror or lens in a telescope focuses the light. That light is what we see when we look into a telescope.” Building on that, telescopes work on the principles of optics, essentially optics means the correct alignment of lenses and mirrors in a structure to focus as much light as possible, and then the user captures the light coming from these planets and other celestial bodies.
This is also why it is always recommended never to use a telescope in a city area with a lot of light pollution as it will seep into the optics and make it difficult to see the main object. That is also why there are very few, if any, stars in the sky above large cities.