When And How To See Jupiter’s Closest Approach To Earth In 59 Years

Scientists believe studying Jupiter can lead to breakthrough discoveries.

New Delhi:

The coming week could be a treat for stargazers as Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years. Jupiter, which is approximately 600 million miles from Earth at its farthest point, will come as near as 367 million miles on September 26.

The occurrence is set to take place as Jupiter will reach opposition, which means that it will rise in the east as the Sun sets in the west.

According to NASA, people will be able to see great views of the gas giant for the entire night of September 26.

Why is it a rare event?

Jupiter and Earth do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles – meaning the two planets cross each other at different distances throughout the year. At their closest, the distance between Earth and Jupiter is 367 million miles, about the same distance it was in 1963, and therefore the event becomes rare and worth watching. The massive gas giant is almost 600 million miles away from Earth at its farthest point.

How to see it?

Adam Kobleski, a research astrophysicist at NASA said “With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible.” The astrophysicist recommends that an ideal viewing spot will be dark, dry, and at an elevation.

He also suggested the stargazers take advantage of good weather on either side of the date (September 26) as the view will be great before and after the rare event.

Scientists believe studying Jupiter can lead to breakthrough discoveries about the formation of the solar system. NASA’s Juno spacecraft was launched in 2011 and reached 5 years later, since 2016, the spacecraft has provided incredible images of the gas giant and the program has been extended until 2025 or till the end of Juno’s life.


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