Jupiter has never been as bright as this night in the past 60 years

Jupiter has never been as bright as this night in the past 60 years



After the giant moon, we could even call the planet Jupiter tonight a super-Jupiter, and jokingly, Jupiter, because it would appear much larger and brighter than usual. But while giant moons occur twice a year, the giant planet seen tonight hasn’t swelled to the size it has now in the past 60 years. So if we look up at the sky at 10 pm, we can experience a really special scene.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus before sunrise behind Rocca Calaccio Castle in ItalySource: LORENZO DI COLA / NURPHOTO / NURPHOTO VIA AFP

What are the reasons for that?

Planets are huge celestial mirrors. They reflect the light of our sun and illuminate the sky. The apparent size depends not only on the true diameter of the planet (Jupiter is unbeatable in this, of course), but also on its distance from Earth. And just as the planet, the Earth, revolves around the sun, so a particular planet approaches or moves away from us, glowing or fading.

Giant Jupiter is caused by the planet’s resistance to the sun. During this phenomenon, also known as opposition, the planet is exactly on the opposite side of the Sun when seen from Earth, so our Earth is sandwiched between the Sun and the planet. This is the time when the planet is closest to Earth, so it appears to be the largest and brightest.

However, there is also a difference between opposition and opposition, which is what makes this bright Jupiter special. The planets orbit in an elliptical orbit that is slightly different from the circle, so it does not matter in any way whether our planet is moving closer to the sun or far from the sun during opposition. If the collision occurs near the Sun, then the planet will be closer to the Sun, and therefore to the Earth, so it will appear larger.

Opposition to Jupiter and the SunSource: svabhegyicsillagvizsgalo.hu

Svábhegy . Observatory Blog post According to Jupiter’s Greatest Opposition, it is now the largest in a 60-year period!

You don’t even need a telescope to spot it. After dark, let’s go out under the sky and look east! If we wait until 10 p.m., it rises high enough that the atmosphere near the horizon does not absorb any of its light. If we wait until 1:30 at night, we can admire it in its full brightness, at 42 degrees. According to the blog post, it would be really cool.

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