Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth in 59 years: how to see it

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Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, and its gaseous composition classifies it as one of the so-called outer planets, also known as giant planets or gaseous planets, which are distinguished by their asteroid belt and their gaseous nature. Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are the other three planets included in this designation.

This type of planet has a rotation period of about 10 hours, has strong magnetic fields and a large number of satellites, and is surrounded by a system of rings.

In the case of Jupiter, it should be noted that it is the fifth planet in terms of distance from the Sun, which is quite far from planet Earth. However, Jupiter’s immense ability to shine means that it is occasionally visible from Earth. In fact, it is the second brightest planet in the solar system, after the Moon, although Venus and Mars can also shine as bright or even brighter. However, Venus and Mars are closer to Earth, and Mars is one of the most popular planets for humans to visit in hopes of discovering a habitable world on the Red Planet.

For the same reason, it is rare to see Jupiter clearly and brightly. However, on Monday, September 26, we will witness a truly remarkable event, as Jupiter will be at its closest point to Earth. Earth has evolved over the last 59 years.

This is because on Monday the opposition, a phenomenon that occurs periodically and that makes the planet look bigger and brighter than at any other time of the year, and the perigee, the closest point to Earth’s orbit, will occur simultaneously.

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This combination of the opposition that makes the planet appear larger and brighter than usual and the perigee that brings the star closer to Earth hasn’t happened since October 1963… 59 years ago.

Please note that the competition occurs once every 13 months. If both Earth and Jupiter rotated in circular orbits around the Sun, they would always do so at the same distance. However, due to the elliptical nature of the orbits, the distance between them varies greatly each time they meet. This makes the coincidence of these phenomena much more remarkable and makes Jupiter appear much closer than usual, as well as larger and brighter. It would be great for additional photos of the planet taken by NASA with the James Webb Space Telescope.

As close, big, and dazzling as Jupiter will be on Monday, there are a few prerequisites that must be met in order to observe it. On the one hand, the sky will be required to be as clear as possible. On the other hand, it will be vital to choose a place with limited exposure to light, since darkness will be essential to appreciate Jupiter’s contrasting brightness. Yes, the best time to view the planet will be the afternoon of Monday, August 26, or, if conditions allow, the afternoon of the same day.

Jupiter can be viewed without special equipment, but having some on hand will enhance your experience.

If you’re interested

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