NASA Says Jupiter Will Reach Closest Approach to Earth For the First Time in 59 Years

Planet Jupiter is set to make the closest approach to Earth in 59 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced.

Stargazers can expect the planet Jupiter at the best view on September 26, Monday. The sight from the planet can still be present after the said date. Jupiter would be brighter in the sky.

According to the NASA announcement, the view shows when the big planet reaches opposition. The Astronomical Administration explained that opposition occurs as the astronomical object is seen to rise in the ease and as the Sun sets in the west, which places on the Earth’s opposite sides.

Moreover, the view of the planet Jupiter is considered historical and rare. NASA said that it doesn’t always occur because the Earth and Jupiter pass at different distances throughout the year. In fact, a giant planet is located approximately 600 million miles away from Earth.

Also Read: New Images From Webb Space Telescope May Reveal Secrets of the Birth of Stars

However, the announcement added that the opposition of Jupiter happens every 13 months. It simply means that the object looks larger and brighter. Amazingly, the planet will reach the closest approach to Earth in 59 years.

The report revealed that Jupiter would be seen closest at approximately 367 million miles from Earth, similar in 1963.

Telescopes for better viewing

AccuWeather reported that Jupiter’s close approach to Earth happened in 1963 in the term of former United States president John F. Kennedy.

Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, explained that good binoculars could show the banding and three or four Galilean satellites. Also, stargazers should be at a high elevation in a dark or dry area as they view the planet.

AccuWeather noted that stargazers with telescopes could zoom in on Jupiter, showing its four largest moons, Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto.

The NASA astrophysicist suggested a larger telescope to view planet Jupiter’s extraordinary appearance and see the red spots and bands in detail., which is a 4-inch or larger telescope. Filters could help enhance the planet’s view.

On the other hand, AccuWeather added NASA unveiled an image from Jupiter in August. The James Webb Space Telescope captured a majestic view of the Great Red Spot with a glowing aura around its poles. Recently, NASA also captured an interesting image of a cat-shape looking rock on Mars.


NASA said a total of 53 moons are named in Jupiter despite scientists believing to detect 79 moons on the giant planet.

On NASA’s Solar System Exploration website, planet Jupiter is known for being full of discoveries for scientists.

  • Jupiter is the grandest planet in the solar system.
  • As mentioned, it has more than 75 moons. A Jovian day in Jupiter means it rotates in or about every 10 hours.
  • A Jovian year representing Jupiter takes 12 years to complete one orbit of the Sun.
  • The atmosphere of Jupiter is mostly hydrogen and helium.

Scientists and NASA strongly believe that explorations in Jupiter can lead to discoveries in the solar system. As a result, NASA’s Juno spacecraft is tasked to study the planet.

According to NASA, Juno journeyed in 2011, reaching Jupiter five years later. Since it started, the mission has generated important data and images about Jupiter.

Related Article: NASA Rover catches Amazing Image of Cat Loaf Rock on Mars

For more similar, don’t forget to follow Nature World News.

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