Mon Jun 10, 2019, 11:16 PM

Tonight Is the Best Time of the Year to See Jupiter and Its Many Moons

All you'll need to see Jupiter is a pair of binoculars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

A spectacular celestial event is set to arrive just in time to beat stargazers’ Monday blues. As NASA notes in a blog post detailing its June skywatching tips, Jupiter will align with Earth and the sun tonight, standing alongside our planet and the fiery star in a perfect straight line.

This phenomenon, known as opposition, occurs just once every 13 months and finds the gas giant reaching its closest distance to Earth. Most significantly for space enthusiasts, opposition marks the year’s most optimal Jupiter viewing conditions, enabling binocular-equipped watchers to easily spot the planet and perhaps even a few of its 79 moons.

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According to Vox’s Brian Resnick, Jupiter will grace the southeastern sky at dusk and remain visible until setting in the west at dawn. Those with binoculars should be able to see both the enormous planet, officially the largest in our solar system, and its four brightest moons—Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. If you own a telescope, you may also be able to make out individual cloud bands and Jupiter’s characteristic Great Red Spot.

To locate Jupiter, simply look to the southeast and find the brightest object in the sky, excluding Venus and the moon, as Inverse’s Scott Snowden points out. Although the precise moment of opposition will take place at 6 p.m. Eastern time, Sky & Telescope’s Bob King writes that the planet will reach ideal viewing height around 11:30 p.m. and will remain visible through sunrise, or roughly 7 a.m.

Speaking with CNN’s Amy Woodyatt and Madeline Holcombe, Robert Massey, deputy executive director of Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society, offers several tips for stargazers: “Unlike stars, it won't twinkle,” he says. “Even when it's low down, it will look pretty steady, and that will make it stand out. You'll need a good clear southern horizon to see it.”


I deleted my earlier OP as the assholes said it would be seen in the northeastern sky. Just looked and it is in the southeastern sky. Didn't have my binocula rs with me as I was just curious and have to walk down the road a bit due to the trees blocking the view from my place.

Will be out there after the B B game though.

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Reply Tonight Is the Best Time of the Year to See Jupiter and Its Many Moons (Original post)
RCW2014 Jun 10 OP
Crazy in SoFla Jun 11 #1

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 05:18 PM

1. In the U.S., the planets will never be in the north...

Not possible.

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