Astronomy fans, it’s time to get super hyped up because Jupiter is getting a lot closer to Earth this month and you’ll be able to spot it with binoculars!
Now’s the time to laugh at those friends who have shelled out thousands for fancy telescopes.
Enjoy this time where you can also take part in some serious planetary observing.
Closer inspection by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals that these spots are a rare alignment of three of Jupiter's largest moons – Io, Ganymede, and Callisto – across the planet's face. Credit: NASA pic.twitter.com/00dd7uIEAZ
— Wonders of the cosmos (@wotcosmos) June 7, 2019
The largest planet in our solar system will be visible all night from Earth and NASA explains that Jupiter is at its ‘biggest and brightest this month’.
Rising at dusk, it will remain observant throughout the night and no magnifying apparatus will be required to see the stripey, spotty planet in all its glory, although a pair of binoculars will help a bit.
You will also be in for another treat – you will get to see all four of Jupiter’s moons as well, possibly even some of the banded clouds which surround the planet.
Jupiter puts Earth to shame when it comes to moons with a scientist claiming they believe it o have a combined 79 of them. With 53 having names and 26 on the waiting list, the 4 visible to us will be Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
This image of Jupiter was taken when the planet was at a distance of 670 million kilometres from Earth. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals the intricate, detailed beauty of Jupiter’s clouds as arranged into bands of different latitudes. Credit: NASA pic.twitter.com/ezmfDEqR7J
— Wonders of the cosmos (@wotcosmos) June 5, 2019
In an annual occurrence, the planet will reach opposition where Jupiter, the Earth and the Sun all line up perfectly.
June seems to be an overall great month for stargazers as NASA has added that Mars and Mercury will also be making a closer encounter after sunset on the 17th-18th June after sunset.
You’ll need a pretty clear view of the western horizon to catch them, as the pair will be only a few degrees above it. But it should be spectacular if you can manage it.
In the middle of the month, from about June 14th to the 19th, look for the Moon to form a beautiful lineup in the sky with Jupiter and Saturn that changes each night as the Moon moves in its orbit around Earth.
Don’t miss out on this promising to be impressive display of our truly magnificent solar system over the next few weeks, you will be sorry.
June 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA (Video)
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