Jupiter large and bright


This is the time of year to check out Jupiter, which will appear at its largest and most luminous Monday night. Tonight marks the opposition of Jupiter, which happens once every 13 months, when the sun, Jupiter and moon are in alignment, described in the featured NASA/JPL – Caltech video.

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and the brightest object in the sky tonight (not counting the First Quarter Moon). A small telescope will provide a delightful view of Jupiter’s four largest Galilean moons; and possibly the bands of clouds encircling the planet, and perhaps the swirling Great Red Spot.

Jupiter through a telescope in the spring of 2018 (Brian Dickmann)

Jupiter rises in the southeast after sunset, not twinkling like the surrounding stars. A couple of the largest moons may be visible using just binoculars.

By the middle of June, the moon will line up with Jupiter and Saturn, shifting positions each night as the moon orbits Earth. The moon’s orbit with respect to Earth is somewhat tilted.

The full moon on June 17, 2019, at 4:31 a.m. is known as the Strawberry Moon. Here are the phases of the moon.

Moon Phases: New Moon on June 3, 1st quarter on June 9, full Moon June 17 and last quarter on June 25.
Phases of the Moon for June 2019. Credit: NASA

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