Jupiter's moons will be visible from Earth this month

Olive Hawkins
June 8, 2019

Why does Jupiter look so big this month?

The best time to view the planet, which has 79 moons in total, will be the night of 10 June.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, the fastest-spinning planet and the biggest in the Solar System.

Opposition means that Jupiter will be at its closest to Earth in its orbital cycle, coming within 398 million miles of us, according to National Geographic.

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If you get a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope you can also see up to four of Jupiter's largest moons and potentially even some of the banded clouds that surround the planet. The best part is that you don't need fancy equipment to get a detailed view. (It takes Jupiter approximately 12 earth years to orbit the sun.) Since all the planets in the solar system orbit the sun on the same plane, imagine them as runners on a track going at varying speeds.

From June 14 through 19, the moon will "form a handsome lineup in the sky" with Jupiter and Saturn that will change each night as the moon makes its orbit, NASA said.

"We basically line up between the sun, the Earth and Jupiter, which brings us to our closest point in the year". And, unlike other astronomical phenomena, your geographical location on Earth shouldn't impact your ability view Jupiter, provided you have clear skies and minimal light pollution. With Jupiter at opposition, astronomy enthusiasts will even be able to watch its moons using standard telescopes or binoculars.

Want to catch a look at Jupiter's famous Red Spot?

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