June 10 - Jupiter to be closest to Earth; Moons Visible via Binoculars

June 10 - Jupiter to be closest to Earth; Moons Visible via Binoculars
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The largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, will be clearly visible June 10 — and to see its biggest moons you'll only need to grab a pair of binoculars.

NASA said the gas giant is at its "biggest and brightest this month" and will be visible all night. The planet will reach opposition, the annual occurrence when the Jupiter, Earth and the Sun are arranged in a straight line, with Earth in the center. So, mark your calendars for Monday, as it will be the best time of the year to see it.

While the planet famous for its brilliant stripes and swirls will be visible to the naked eye, binoculars or a small telescope will enhance its clarity. The devices will also allow people to spot Jupiter's four largest moons, and possibly even a "glimpse" of part of the banded clouds that surround the planet. Scientists believe the planet has a combined 79 moons — 53 named and 26 awaiting official names.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul Lambert · 2 months ago
    It is always possible to see Jupiter with a naked eye, but an opposition of this sort will give us an opportunity to see the entire disk of the planet through a good telescope. Usually, you will onlz see a crescent-shaped phase to some extent or another. Anyone here planning to check it out?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Matthew Worner · 2 months ago
      Digging out the old Meade for Monday night.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Paul Lambert · 2 months ago
        If you have the means to take a picture, please do and share it here. I don't have a telescope of my own at present. In the past, I used to get good pictures of the phases Venus, but never Jupiter. I am excited to see what you find.
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Matthew Worner · 2 months ago
          Alas, the only thing I can get out of my scope is an eyeball image. Unfortunately, the telescope was a passing fancy and I never got into it as far as to adapt any of my cameras (camerae?) So sorry.
          • This commment is unpublished.
            Paul Lambert · 2 months ago
            That's a shame. Violent thunderstorm all night in Berlin last night, so I don't have anything better to offer.