Jupiter's largest moon easy to view Monday night

Jupiter set to be one of the brightest objects in the night sky this week

Jupiter is so close this week you'll be able to see its moons. Here's how to spot our giant neighbor.

Jupiter - our solar system's largest planet - will be at its closest point to Earth on Monday, June 10, according to NASA.

Opposition means Jupiter will be aligned with Earth and the sun such that Earth sits right in the middle of the two. Also, if a moon crosses in front of Jupiter - called a transit - it is lost in the planet's glare to those using binoculars.

Pierre Schierle, who serves as the president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Regina Centre, said if people happen to forget checking the sky for the gas giant this week, they will still be able to find it throughout the next couple months.

An evening of stargazing is definitely worth the time, as just a x10 pair of binoculars will be enough to see the four Jupiter moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Jupiter should be visible for the rest of the week too, weather permitting, but if you can at all, you're better off trying to spot it tonight. "Look closely as they will appear as 4 tiny dots close to the planet", says Wenckstern. After roughly 30 minutes to an hour, your eyes become fully dark-adapted, allowing you to make out faint objects in low light. It will rise in the sky at dusk and remain visible all night.

As for the next truly notable astronomical event in Toledo, you'll only have to wait until April 2024 for the Glass City - and much of OH - to experience near-total darkness during that solar eclipse.

Jupiter will be the second-brightest planet in our night sky, following only Venus. As NASA explains, "Although opposition takes place on a specific date, the entire month or so around opposition is an equally good time to observe the planet".

Between June 14 and 19, Jupiter will be at the center of another celestial event. Due to Jupiter's comparatively slower orbit around the Sun, Jupiter's opposition comes around once every 13 months. Look closely, the space agency advises, and you will see that the moon doesn't trace the same path followed by Earth and other planets orbiting the sun.

Though 640 million kms may not qualify as most Earthling's definition of close, our planet's average distance to the monstrous planet is more than a hundred million kms more, at 786,884,800 kms.

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