Jupiter Is Going To Be Bright And Visible: Here's How To See It
Step outside and catch a glimpse of Jupiter at its brightest on Tuesday, May 8. The gas giant will be visible all night long.
With the planet appearing to Earth at its best and brightest of the year, it's an event that cosmic enthusiasts will not want to miss.
Jupiter In Opposition
According to Space.com, if weather permits, Jupiter can be seen on Tuesday even by the naked eye.
A planet is considered "in opposition" when it's on the opposite side of the sky from the sun, according to National Geographic. When this happens, it appears as the largest heavenly object from our perspective, and Jupiter is set to be viewable the entire night.
It's also Jupiter's closest approach to Earth at 409 million miles, 5 million miles nearer than the 2017 opposition. This means the gas giant will shine extra bright from the night sky than a typical opposition.
For astronomy lovers armed with a small telescope, the planet's four largest moons — Io, Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa — will also be visible. Backyard astronomers with larger equipment can even see the Great Red Spot, a centuries-old storm that is two times bigger than Earth.
Business Insider recommends being outside to spot the planet at 1:10 a.m. EDT, when it's expected to be at its full glory.
Jupiter's Celebrity Fan
Ahead of Jupiter's big day, Ariana Grande has seemingly discovered the awe-inspiring beauty of the gas giant. The singer took to Twitter to share photos of the planet.
"Nothing is prettier than Jupiter," she tweeted, before adding that it turns out Neptune is even better.
NASA responded with a link to the agency's website page dedicated to the solar system, so Grande could explore all eight planets and satisfy her newfound love for astronomy.
"We can't pick favorites," NASA wrote in the tweet to the diva. "But we've got you — check out the whole solar system at solarsystem.nasa.gov."
Other Cosmic Events This Month
While the upcoming Tuesday sighting is going to be remarkable, Jupiter in opposition is not the only cosmic event that skywatchers have to look forward to this month. Enthusiasts can get the most of their telescope with a few notable phases set to take place.
On May 17, a crescent moon will be side by side with a bright Venus an hour after sunset, which makes for a pretty sight.
A few days later on May 21, the moon will get close to white star Regulus, which is at the heart of the Leo constellation.
Finally, May 26 will see the moon and Jupiter move in sync.