Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest this month, rising at dusk and remaining visible all night. The solar system’s largest planet is a brilliant jewel to the naked eye, but looks fantastic through binoculars or a small telescope, which will allow you to spot the four largest moons, and maybe even glimpse a hint of the banded clouds that encircle the planet.
And if this leaves you yearning for a closer look, these gorgeous views from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, currently orbiting Jupiter, make the planet feel almost close enough to touch.
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Jupiter reaches opposition on June 10. This is the yearly occurrence when Jupiter, Earth and the Sun are arranged in a straight line, with Earth in the middle. It’s the best time of the year to see Jupiter, as the planet is visible in the sky all night, and it’s around the time when Jupiter is closest to Earth. Although opposition takes place on a specific date, the entire month or so around opposition is an equally good time to observe the planet and its four largest moons. You can find out more on Jupiter here.
For more tips on skywatching from NASA and to see what else is happening in the sky this June, click here.
Courtesy of NASA