Jupiter closest to Earth it’s been in 59 years Monday

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Earth will pass between the sun and Jupiter on Monday. It may not sound like much, but this will be the closest the gas giant has been to Earth in 59 years.

Jupiter’s opposition occurred Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CDT and happens, roughly, every 13 months. That’s how long Earth takes to travel once around the sun relative to Jupiter.

The planet will appear bigger and brighter in the night sky and will be visible, weather depending.

During the opposition, Jupiter is about 367 million miles from earth, or 33 light minutes away. Opposition is when the sun-Earth-planet angle is at a maximum, for planets beyond Earth. So basically, it’s when the planet is opposite the position of the sun.

As with any astronomical event, the weather plays a huge role in whether or not we’ll be able to view the event. Luckily, weather conditions will cooperate Monday evening and Monday night as the sky remains mostly clear.

Getting a view of the gas giant will be easy. You can use a pair of binoculars or a telescope. If you don’t have either one, you can easily see the planet with the naked eye. Just look toward the eastern sky after sunset.