Catch a glimpse of Jupiter and a super-slim crescent moon this week
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will show at its brightest and closest encounter to Earth on Monday. This is the first time this event will happen again since 1963, nearly six decades ago. You can see the “king of the planets” with your naked eye even without using binoculars.
According to NASA, this incident occurs when an astronomical entity rises in the east while the sun sets in the west. It places the object and the Sun on opposite sides of the Earth, making Jupiter appear brighter.
Furthermore, Jupiter only appears brighter and larger every thirteen months. But now, it will approach Earth at its closest distance ever. Jupiter and Earth do not revolve around the Sun in perfect circles. This means the planets will pass through each other at varying distances throughout the year.
Stargazers: Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years! Weather-permitting, expect excellent views on Sept. 26. A good pair of binoculars should be enough to catch some details; you’ll need a large telescope to see the Great Red Spot. https://t.co/qD5OiZX6ld pic.twitter.com/AMFYmC9NET
— NASA (@NASA) September 23, 2022
On top of that, this year’s views will be extraordinary as Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely concurs with opposition. During this nearest Jupiter encounter, the huge planet will be nearly 367 million miles far from the Earth. It’s the same distance it was positioned in 1963.
However, you may need binoculars if you also aim to see the four moons of Jupiter. Its moons won’t be as clear and visible as the planet itself. This is according to Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
In an official statement by NASA, he said, “It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th-century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use.”
In addition, you can also catch a glimpse of the slimmest crescent moon this week. To help you catch up on the times of their brightest appearance, here is the list of dates and times you can catch them at the optimal view.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) September 25, 2022
Septermber 26, 2022: Jupiter
Look east immediately after sunset. You’ll have a great view of Jupiter during twilight time. It will shine and be the brightest object you can see after sunset, aside from the Moon. Also, it will appear brighter in the next coming weeks. Again, you can see it with your naked eyes except for its moons.
September 27, 2022: The slimmest crescent Moon
See the young, two-day-old moon in the west after sunset. However, you would need binoculars to see this slim crescent moon clearly. Use them after sunset.
September 28, 2022: Easy crescent moon
Catch a glimpse of this crescent moon an hour after sunset. Look at your west using binoculars.