Jupiter will be extra big and bright in the coming time

After the shooting stars of the Perseids, we can enjoy more bright spots in the sky in the near future. The planet Jupiter is especially visible! You can read exactly when we can expect that and where to look in this article.

The fifth and largest planet of our solar system will be extra visible in the near future. Jupiter, the sun and the earth align. This is also called the “opposition of Jupiter with the sun” called because they are exactly opposite each other.

Jupiter extra large and bright

Due to the relatively small distance between Earth and Jupiter during the period of opposition, the planet is relatively large and bright, and therefore easy to see! The clouds should of course not throw a spanner in the works. This opposition will take place on Friday, August 20, roughly at half past two in the morning. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to get up late at night and Jupiter can also be spotted at other times.

These are the best viewing moments

Since Jupiter, the Earth and the Sun are on that same line, Jupiter becomes visible when the sun sets. The planet can therefore be seen almost all night. Jupiter rises in the east after sunset and sets in the west with the sun rise. So the sun and Jupiter exchange a penny! A handy mnemonic might be that he vdisappears in the VS and temerges in Thailand. The only thing that can get in the way of Jupiter is clouds. In the most comprehensive weather forecast in the Netherlands read when there are clear spells and you can enjoy this beautiful spectacle!

Jupiter is clearly visible not only during the exact moment of opposition, but also several weeks and even months before and after. So tonight you already have a good chance. In the days and weeks before August 20, it is better to get out of bed a little earlier and stay awake a little longer in the period after that.

The bands of Jupiter are only visible with a telescope. This photo was taken by the Hubble telescope. Photo: NASA / ESA / A. Simon and MH Wong

The star of the night

With the naked eye you see Jupiter as a bright star. With binoculars you have a chance to spot the four largest moons. For a close-up you do need a telescope and then the characteristic bands come into view.

Due to the ovoid orbit of Jupiter and the Earth, the moment of the shortest distance does not exactly coincide with the moment of opposition. The distance is smallest at 7:30 am, but then the sun has already risen for an hour and Jupiter is no longer visible. We have to wait a little more than a year for the next suitable viewing moment. Only in 399 days all noses will be in the same direction again!

You may also like...