Stargazers pay attention, ’cause it’s party time! The biggest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, will make its closest approach to Earth on April 7, 2017, and it would be only 415 million miles (668 million kilometres) from the mother Earth.
The mighty planet will be visible in all its glory to the naked eyes as it rises in the east at the sunset before setting in the west on Saturday morning offering spectacular views of its colourful atmosphere and the legendary Great Red Spot. And if you happen to have a telescope (or a pair of binoculars) around, you can even take a quick glance at its four bright moons– Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io.
According to EarthSky.org, Jupiter will shine brighter than any other star in the evening, and is the second-brightest planet after Venus. The good news is that nothing will be able to dim papa Jupiter’s glamour tonight as even Venus will shine for a short while, letting the planet take the centre stage.
For those of you who don’t know, Jupiter travels for 13 months to meet the Earth at opposition, when it aligns itself opposite to the Sun. “This means that the sun, Earth and Jupiter line up, with Earth sitting between the sun and the gas giant,” NASA explained.
However, if you are feeling a bit lazy and you don’t want to step out of your cosy abode, you can tune into slooh.com that will be live streaming the event. In case, you miss out on this opportunity tonight, you’ll have to wait till May 9, 2018, to witness this union again.