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Home ยป Jupiter to be closest to Earth in 59 years, It won’t come this close for next 107 years

Jupiter to be closest to Earth in 59 years, It won’t come this close for next 107 years

Jupiter to be closest to Earth in 59 years, It won't come this close for next 107 years

Jupiter will be at its perigee or closest distance from Earth on September 25 and will be in opposition to the Sun to see it at its maximum splendour on September 26. These two particularities have not occurred simultaneously for 59 years, and they will make it necessary to observe the planet. It is a spectacle in which, with good binoculars or a small telescope, you can also see the three or four largest moons of the gas giant.

Jupiter to be closest to Earth

According to NASA in a statement, Jupiter’s opposition to the Sun is usually every 13 months, but the fact that opposition and perigee coincide with a difference of one day to see the illuminated planet so close is a fact that has not occurred since almost six years ago “At its closest approach, Jupiter will be about 590 million kilometres from Earth, approximately the same distance it was in 1963,” the agency issues. At the opposite extreme or apogee, the huge planet drifts up to 600 million miles from Earth.

“With good binoculars, the bands (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible,” said Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “It is important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use.”

Kobelski recommends a larger telescope to see the Great Red Spot and Jupiter’s bands in more detail; a 4-inch or larger telescope and some filters in the green to blue range would improve the visibility of these features.

Galilean satellites

“Views should be great for a few days before and after September 26,” Kobelski said. “So take advantage of the good weather on either side of this date to enjoy the view. Outside of the Moon, it should be one of (if not the) brightest objects in the night sky.” “With good binoculars, at least the central band and three or four of the Galilean satellites should be visible,” says Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center in the NASA statement.

The Galilean satellites Kobelski refers to are the ones discovered by Galileo in the 17th century and are the largest natural satellites or Mondays on the planet: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

The gas giant planet is at a distance from the Sun of 5 times the distance from Earth. It takes almost 12 Earth years to go around our star, and although not all of them are known, 79 moons or satellites are assigned to it.

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