Thursday , October 21 2021

Jupiter is so close this week that you can see your moons without a telescope


Jupiter is in opposition this week, which means it is reaching its orbit closest to Earth.

The gas giant, with its radius of more than 11,000 Earths, will be brighter and easier to locate in the night sky compared to other times of the year.

Opposition of Jupiter

Yesterday, Jupiter was in direct opposition. This means that the Earth was positioned exactly between the Sun and the giant planet.

The Earth, however, will not be at its greatest distance to Jupiter until June 12, 2019, because the planets are elliptical, not circular – so Earth still needs a little time to get to the nearest point .

All this means that Jupiter will be bigger and brighter and will be the best possible time to see it with the naked eye.


If you want to see a little more detail, however, a pair of simple binoculars will be enough to see several of your moons on both sides of the planet. A telescope, in turn, should allow even more details, such as the patterns of Jupiter's cloud ranges.

Here's how to see Jupiter

It will be easy to locate Jupiter; is the brightest star in the night sky in the distance. Especially at this time of year.

The planet rises in the east at sunset, rises high through the sky at night and descends west in the morning.

Although the gaseous giant begins to rise at dusk, it will probably be more visible around 11:30 p.m. for observers looking down into the southeastern sky.

Jupiter will also be visibly floating to the left of the red star, Antares.

Take as long as you can.

This cosmic event does not happen at the same time every year. Due to Jupiter's comparatively slow orbit around the Sun, Jupiter's opposition appears once every 13 months.

A star-watching night is definitely worth it, since only a pair of x10 binoculars will be enough to see the four moons of Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

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