Jupiter to Reach Opposition, Closest Approach to Earth in 59 Years

By  //  September 19, 2022

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Jupiter will be approximately 367 million miles in distance from Earth

Stargazers can expect excellent views of Jupiter the entire night of Monday, Sept. 26 when the giant planet reaches opposition. (NASA Image)

(NASA) – Stargazers can expect excellent views of Jupiter the entire night of Monday, Sept. 26 when the giant planet reaches opposition. From the viewpoint of Earth’s surface, opposition happens when an astronomical object rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth.

Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, making the planet appear larger and brighter than any other time of the year. But that’s not all. Jupiter will also make its closest approach to Earth in the last 59 years.

This happens because Earth and Jupiter do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles – meaning the planets will pass each other at different distances throughout the year. Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition, which means this year’s views will be extraordinary.

At its closest approach, Jupiter will be approximately 367 million miles in distance from Earth, about the same distance it was in 1963.

The massive planet is approximately 600 million miles away from Earth at its farthest point.

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