So close you can count its moons

Jupiter and its four largest moons

For space lovers around the world, the month of June is set to be stellar: Jupiter will be clearly visible, and those wanting to catch a glimpse of its moons will only need a pair of binoculars. The apparent magnitude or brightness factor of Jupiter during June and July is -2.6.

This cosmic event only happens once every 13 months, so if you miss out tonight, you'll have to wait over a year for a chance to see Jupiter up close. As NASA notes in a blog post detailing its June skywatching tips, Jupiter will align with Earth and the sun tonight, standing alongside our planet and the fiery star in a ideal straight line. The more negative the magnitude, the brighter the star or planet. Jupiter is by far the largest planet in our solar system, more than twice as large as all the other planets combined.

"As the sun sets to our west, look to the eastern horizon and watch Jupiter rise across the starry night sky in nearly an exact opposite timeline to the Sun", concludes The Weather Network.

While all four moons are once in some time visible, one may per chance per chance once in some time both be in front or within the aid of Jupiter. During planetary opposition, the planet is up entire night and generally closest for the year.

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To help you know what you're looking at, you can visit the astronomy magazine Sky and Telescope's interactive webpage on the moons of Jupiter.

Jupiter begins to rise in the southeast roughly around 9:30 p.m. local time. (Or now now not it's nearer to 9 p.m.in Toronto and eastward.) But waiting till Jupiter rises higher in the sky will abet with visibility, since having a study something else along the horizon makes the image shaky and blurry.

And if you can get to a dark-sky location, away from light pollution, even better. EarthSky and In-the-Sky.org also have comprehensive guides to the annual event.

As is steadily the case when buying for something in the night sky, steer certain of exposing your eyes to any light, reminiscent of your cellular telephone. After roughly Half-hour to an hour, your eyes turn into fully shadowy-adapted, permitting you to invent out faint objects in low light. During opposition, the Earth is evenly spaced exactly between Jupiter and the Sun. This will form it easier to witness Jupiter's moons, that are very faint compared with the planet.

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