Jun 11, 2019 08:26 AM EDT
According to experts, the best day to view Jupiter in all its glory is June 10, 2019, Monday. During this day, the gas giant will be positioned directly opposite the sun. This means that the Sun, Earth, and Jupiter will line up perfectly.
As the three celestial bodies are aligned in a single straight line, Jupiter will be reflecting a large amount of light from the sun. The gas giant will also be positioned at its nearest point to the Earth. As a result, Jupiter will be viewed to appear brighter and larger from the Earth.
Every 13 months, Jupiter reaches a point in its orbit where it is directly opposite the sun. This phenomenon is called 'opposition'. During this time, experts say that skywatchers can even view some of its moons.
Jupiter is mainly made of helium and hydrogen -- the same components that make up the sun. However, the gaseous planet does not have enough mass to ignite and become a star. Still, its gravity is so strong that it has attracted 79 moons and other space objects onto its orbit.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has one of its satellites, Juno, orbiting Jupiter. The agency is currently studying the giant planet carefully using the said satellite. Observing Jupiter's surface at the closest distance as NASA can get (as of the moment) can contribute to the search for answers on how the solar system has formed.
This phenomenon, Jupiter's opposition, is not only an opportunity for skywatchers to add to their collection of atmospheric marvels, but it is also an opportunity for NASA to conduct close-up investigations that can shed some light on the ceaseless violent storms that dominate the said planet's atmosphere.
One question that the agency seeks to answer is why Jupiter's Great Red Spot has started to shrink. The said Great Red Spot was known to be so huge that it could engulf the Earth.
Last year, Jupiter has reached opposition on April. During the time, it was NASA's Hubble Telescope which has captured the beauty of the Gas Giant through a high-resolution photo.
As of the moment, the satellite Juno has been getting closer to the poles of Jupiter. This advancement, coupled with the planet's opposition could aid in better data that could be gathered by the satellite.
According to experts, the Jupiter and four of its brightest moons, namely Europa, Io, Callisto, and Ganymede, can be observed from the Earth, even just by the use of a pair of binoculars. With a telescope, people can view some of the individual cloud belts. Some say that even the Giant Red Spot can be viewed through the right telescope.
For those located in the northern hemisphere, Jupiter will grace the southeastern part of the sky. The said planet will appear in the northeastern part of the sky for those in the southern hemisphere.
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