Jupiter shines like a diamond in the sky. He will be the closest to us in 59 years

Jupiter shines like a diamond in the sky. He will be the closest to us in 59 years

It’s a moment that happens once every ten years. On Monday, September 26, Jupiter, the giant among the planets, will become even more gigantic.

The largest planet in the solar system will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years. Also, it will come into opposition: rise in the east while the sun sets in the west. This will make it clearer.

If time permits, we will see Jupiter with the naked eye like a cut diamond. And with the help of a telescope, we will be able to observe its stripes and the moon.

“With good binoculars, the cloud belts, at least the central belt, and three or four of Galileo’s satellites (moons) should be visible”, notes Adam Kobelski, an astrophysicist at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, USA, in a blog NASA.

Jupiter it is the largest planet in the solar system, fifth in order from the Sun. It is composed mainly of gas and has a mass of one thousandth of that of the Sun. This is about 2.5 times more than other planets (and other smaller bodies) in the system put together. Its volume is 1321 times that of the Earth. Jupiter, on which 79 moons orbit, it is the third brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

The four largest moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto – are designated as Galileo’s satellites. Galileo Galilei was the first to observe them in 1610. In the telescope, with good visibility, they should appear as bright points on both sides of the planet.

Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months. It makes the planet seem bigger and brighter than at any other time. This time around, however, it will be the closest to Earth since 1963, he points out NASA.

This is due to the fact that Earth and Jupiter do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles – they cross at different distances throughout the year. At the same time, Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition. The prospects for this year will therefore be extraordinary.

Jupiter will be just as bright and big, probably a little bigger, only when it gets closer in 107 years, in 2309.

At the peak of its current approach, Jupiter will be just 591 million kilometers from Earth on Monday at 10pm CESTwhich is approximately the same distance as in 1963. At its furthest point, the gas giant is 965 million kilometers from our planet.

Kobelski recommends a larger telescope for viewing, four inches, or even larger, so that you can also see the cloud belts and the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, the largest Earth-sized storm in the solar system raging on the planet. for hundreds of years. The visibility of bands and spots will be enhanced by a blue or green filter.

Either way, find a light pollution-free spot away from cities and public lights for observation. And if the clouds block your view on Tuesday night, don’t lower your head. The planet will be huge and illuminated for a few more days after this date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.