The name is Jupiter of ancient Rome. It is described as the “ God of Sky and Thunder.” It will appear in the sky brighter than ever this coming Monday, i.e., September 26. The giant planet will move closest to earth than it has been to Earth in 59 years. Dr. Kobelski advised that the view should be great for a few days before and after September 26. So people can take advantage of the weather on either side of this date to take in sight. It is advised that Jupiter would be viewable in the sky even with the naked eye. However, if one tries to view it through optical equipment like telescopes, one can enjoy the more breathtaking views of the gas giant even with low magnification. The banding and three or four Galilean satellites should be visible with good binoculars.
According to Dr. Kobelski, anyone who wants a better view should look to invest in a telescope of 4 inches more. They should experiment with green or blue filters to enhance Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot” visibility and cloud layers. Jupiter will shine more brightly than ever when it is closest to Earth. This is due to an event that only occurs every 13 months called the Jupiter opposition. Earth would be directly between Sun and Jupiter at that time. In other words, it would mean that these celestial bodies have aligned. The distance between Jupiter and Earth would vary as the two planets follow elliptical orbits.
Due to this, the maximum the two will be apart is 600 million miles, while the closest distance everybody can experience on Monday will be within 367 million miles of each other. It will be the closest approach of Jupiter towards Earth since 1963. It is said that Jupiter has 53 moons that are named, but scientists have been able to detect 79 moons in total. The four largest moons are called the Galilean satellites, named after Galileo Galilei, who first discovered them in 1610. The four Galilean satellites are Lo, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. If we use binoculars or telescopes, we can observe the Galilean satellites as bright dots on either side of the gas giant.
Featured Image Credit: The Economic Times