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Jupiter in Opposition: Monday is the best night to see Jupiter and its moons

Monday, June 10, will be the best night of the year to see Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. That's because the gas giant faces the sun directly. In essence, opposition means that Jupiter, the earth and the sun are aligned.

The special feature is that celestial objects, which are located directly opposite the sun, appear brighter in the sky. And because Jupiter is near Earth this year, it will look a little bit bigger. Jupiter reaches the opposition every 13 months – so you should not miss this opportunity to see her and her four brightest moons.

Jupiter is like a solar system in miniature

With its 79 (!) Moons, Jupiter is like a mini solar system. The planet is made up of the same basic constituents as the Sun ̵

1; mainly hydrogen and helium – but it does not have enough mass to ignite and become a star. One explanation for why there are so many moons is the super-strong gravity that allows it to easily put space objects into orbit.

The NASA spacecraft is currently orbiting Juno Jupiter leaving the planet's most accurate study to date. The hope is that a detailed investigation of its surface can provide information about the genesis of our solar system. It could also promote our knowledge of the incessant violent storms that cloud its atmosphere. One question: Why is Jupiter's famous big red spot – so big that he could devour the entire earth – mysteriously shrunken ?

In April last year, NASA used the whitening conditions as Jupiter approached the opposition and shot this photo of the gas giant using the Hubble Space Telescope. This photo shows Jupiter in all its dazzling taupe, marbled sheen.

NASA, ESA and A. Simon (GSFC)

Juno has been given a closer look as his orbit brings him very close to Jupiter's Poland. [19659009] Watching Jupiter in the Opposition

While your own observations do not give you such impressive details, you still have the opportunity to marvel at the planet.

You should be able to observe Jupiter and its four brightest moons – Io, Europe, Callisto and Ganymede (you can see them on many clear nights) – with binoculars. And with a telescope you could see some of the individual cloud belts on Jupiter and maybe even the Big Red Spot.

During the opposition, Jupiter rises at dawn in the southeastern sky (northeast, if you are in the southern hemisphere) and will stay in the sky until dawn. I suggest you use a smartphone app like Sky Guide to find and track them yourself.

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