January 29, 2023


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Jupiter's great opposition.  The planet hasn't been close to Earth in 70 years - o2

Jupiter’s great opposition. The planet hasn’t been close to Earth in 70 years – o2

Soon Jupiter will be closer to Earth in 70 years. It will be approximately 591.30 million kilometers from our planet. In addition, it will be possible to observe a significant opposition, that is, an arrangement in which the Earth is exactly between the Sun and another planet, in this case – Jupiter.

The opposition of Jupiter can be admired every 13 months. This phenomenon makes the planet appear brighter and larger than usual. In favorable weather conditions, it can be seen with the naked eye. Major opposition, also called great convergence, occurs less frequently. This is the situation in which the corresponding upper planet is close to the perihelion in its orbit. This means that it is closer than usual to the ground.

The views should be fantastic for a few days before and after Sept. 26, said Adam Kobelsky, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

In the case of Jupiter, the fifth planet in the Solar System after the Sun, the next big opposition will be admired only 12 years from now – October 2, 2034, and another planet – October 7, 2046. The largest planet of the Sun will not be as close to the Earth as September 26. In 2034, the distance between these celestial bodies will be 591.37 million km, and in 2046 – 591.55 million km.

That is why it is useful to reach for binoculars or a telescope on September 26 and go to a dark place, away from the city lights, to enjoy this nighttime spectacle. Especially since with the right equipment you will be able to see the Galilean moons, the great red dot, the characteristic lines of Jupiter (at least in the middle band) and many other details. Kobelsky also added that apart from the Moon, Jupiter will be one of the brightest (or brightest) objects in the night sky. It will be hard to miss.

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