October 1, 2022

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It will be a special night!  Jupiter will be closer to Earth in 70 years

It will be a special night! Jupiter will be closer to Earth in 70 years

Opposition occurs when two objects from the Earth face each other. We often talk about the opposition of the observed body to the sun. The opposition of Jupiter, that is, when the Sun and Jupiter are on either side of the Earth, occurs every 13 months. Then Jupiter appears brighter and larger. But this time, the opposition will be unique, because at the same time Jupiter will be at perihelion, the point of its orbit closest to the Sun. So we’re going to be dealing with great opposition, also known as great convergence, which happens every several years. But this time, Jupiter during the opposition period will be as close to Earth as it has been in 70 years.

The opposition of Jupiter rarely coincides with perihelion. Therefore, it is worth dedicating part of the night to observation. Jupiter will be one of the brightest – and perhaps even the brightest – objects in the night sky. Right after the moon, of course.

We’ll have to wait until October 2, 2034 for the next big rapprochement with Jupiter, but then the planet will reach 700,000. km away from Earth than the current big approximation.

Jupiter is of great interest to scientists. Currently, the planet is being investigated by a mission Juno. It was launched in 2011 and reached planet Earth in 2016. Initially, it was planned that the entire mission would last for 7 years. Juno has been operating for 11 years, and recently NASA extended its mission until 2025. In 2024, it is planned to launch the Europa mission, which is intended to study one of the Galilean moons – Europa.

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