Jupiter will at its brightest in 2019 tomorrow night

Pablo Tucker
June 12, 2019

If you want to check out the solar system's largest planet, the next few nights are the best nights of the year to do it.

People with a telescope will be able to view some of the planet's more apparent cloud systems.

But if you use a good pair of binoculars or a telescope you will be in for a treat - the space agency NASA says you should also be able to see Jupiter's four largest moons and, if you are really lucky, you will get a glimpse of the banded clouds that surround the planet.

Through binoculars, it will look like Jupiter and its moons are lining up next to each other.

That is when Jupiter, the Earth and the Sun are arranged in a straight line with Earth in the middle.

"The Earth will basically be exactly between Jupiter and the sun, so the gas giant will be visible in the night sky from dusk until dawn", AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said. They will look like four small dots surrounding the planet. Even when it is low down, it will look pretty steady, and that will make it stand out.

"The easiest thing to do is look up at the southeast sky near the horizon at around 10:00 p.m., and the brightest thing you see will be Jupiter", "At around 1:00 a.m., it will be due south in the sky and it will be 17 degrees up in the sky". Waiting will also provide you with a darker sky. The largest planet in our solar system, which is comprised mostly of gas, will be visible to Earthlings all of this month.

If the skies clear over mid-Michigan on Monday night, sky watchers will have something special to view.

Between June 14 and 19, Jupiter will be at the center of another celestial event.

Later Jovian observations included the planet's signature "Great Red Spot", a hydrogen/helium storm about 30% wider than Earth, yet it's been shrinking for the last few hundred years - and we're not quite sure why.

Then on Wednesday, Jupiter will actually be at its closest point to Earth this year - at just 640,862,318 kilometres. "These differing orbital periods allow us to go between the Sun and Jupiter yearly (approximately every 13 months), making it appear, from Earth, that Jupiter is opposite to the Sun", explains The Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern.

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