Jupiter at opposition: The best time to see it tonight

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 17 August 2021 15:38

Jupiter is set to be in opposition, with the largest planet in our solar system appearing big and bright in the night sky.

The planet will shine so brilliantly that it should be visible with the naked eye.

The effect happens when the planet moves to the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, allowing it to make the most of the light and appear bright in the night sky.

The best time to see it will be the evening of Thursday, 19 August. The useful line-up of planets doesn’t last long, so it is best to try and spot it that night.

Doing so should be easy: it should shine as brightly as a star, though without the twinkles. Finding it is probably best done with an app such as Night Sky, which uses the phone’s sensors to map out the stars and planets.

As Jupiter comes close to Earth, so will its Moons – of which there are at least 80, some as large as planets. While they will not be visible with the naked eye, they can be spotted through amateur telescopes.

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