HomeScienceJupiter is at its biggest and brightest this week

Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest this week

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Jupiter arrives at opposition on Thursday (Aug. 19) at approximately 8 p.m. EDT (0000 Aug. 20 GMT). Since Earth will be positioned between the sun and the gas giant, Jupiter will rise at sunset, remain visible all night long and set at sunrise.  (Image credit: Starry Night)

Spotting Jupiter is a breeze this week for the naked eye as it reaches its biggest and brightest moment in the night sky. Telescope-hunters will also get a treat looking for moons and atmospheric bands.

The gas giant planet will be at opposition today (Aug. 19), meaning it is directly opposite the sun in Earth’s sky. Jupiter also makes its closest approach of the year to Earth during opposition. The planet will appear at magnitude -2.9, well within naked-eye range and outshining any star in Earth’s sky except, of course, for the sun.


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