Feasting in the evening sky: Jupiter will make its closest transit to earth in 59 years

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will come closest to the earth this evening after 59 years. For those who want to watch, it will be enough to look at the sky without the need for a telescope.

Photo: Universetoday

Today, Jupiter will present a spectacle to skywatchers in the evening, coming closest to Earth in 59 years.

Jupiter will rise east in the sky as the Sun sets in the west, making our solar system’s largest planet visible, especially in the evening.

Adam Kobelski, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center research astrophysicist, reports The Independent “Apart from the Moon, it must be one of the brightest (if not the brightest) objects in the night sky” said.

It will come within 591 million kilometers of the Earth

Earth and Jupiter follow elliptical rather than circular orbits, and the distances they pass each other change over time. Jupiter will come within about 591 million kilometers of Earth today, compared to the approximately 966 million kilometers separating the two planets when it was at its furthest point from Earth during its orbit.

The last time it came this close was in 1963.

Although Jupiter opposes every 13 months, it was last this close to Earth in 1963, according to NASA’s blog post. When Jupiter is in opposition, it rarely passes this close to Earth.

Those waiting to catch a bright and relatively close Jupiter; Until September 26 and beyond, they can look out over the eastern horizon around sunset, all these days the planet is visible to the naked eye.

However, the close pass and opposition will offer even more striking aspects of Jupiter for those with access to telescopes or other optical equipment. You don’t need a lot of magnification to get a good show from Jupiter and its 50+ moons.

Can be seen with good binoculars

Dr. Kobelski stated that with a good binoculars, Jupiter’s ring structure and three or four Galilean moons (Jupiter’s moons) can be seen.

The Galilean moons, consisting of Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are the largest natural moons of Jupiter. NASA’s Europa Clipper mission may set off as early as October 2024 to study the icy moon that scientists believe harbors a global subterranean ocean.

Dr. According to Kobelski, those who want to take a closer look should consider using a telescope with an lens of at least 10 centimeters or larger, and possibly green and blue filters; These equipments are Jupiter’s ‘The Great Red Spot’It will increase the visibility of the ring structure of the cloud layers of the planet and the massive gas giant planet.