ST. GEORGE — Jupiter, the enormous gas giant, will appear larger and more brighter Monday night than in over five decades. It will be closer to Earth than ever before – so close that many of its moons will also be noticeable.
NASA says that the giant gas planet will be visible when it reaches opposition. This means it will rise in the east and set in the west as NASA explains. This maneuver occurs every 13 months.
This unique event is made possible by the fact that Jupiter’s orbit has never brought the gas giant so close to Earth since 1963. It makes this an exceptional opportunity to see the largest object in the solar system.
The opposition is Jupiter’s and Earths orbits. Both have an elliptical orbit about the sun. However, these orbits are not perfect circles but are elongated orbits. This means that the distance between them varies as they travel around the sun.
Jupiter’s closest approach with Earth is rarely coincident with opposition. But this year, it does. This makes this special close approach to the blue marble.
Southern Utah sky-watchers can see Jupiter by looking east shortly after sunset. The gas planet will be visible in the twilight as a brightest object in the night sky, apart from the moon. According to TimeandDate, the best viewing times are Monday through Tuesday at 7:29 p.m.
Jupiter will be 367 million miles away from Earth at its closest point. This is almost twice the distance Jupiter is at its farthest point, roughly 600 million miles away from its rock neighbor.
Adam Kobelski is a NASA research astrophysicist based in Huntsville, Alabama. He stated last week that you should see the banding across Jupiter or at least the central one. Also, three to four of the planet’s moons should all be visible with good binoculars.
Kobelski stated that Galileo observed the moons using 17th-century optics. He also said that a stable mount was one of the most important components in any system.
Kobelski said that Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot”, and other bands, can be seen more clearly with a bigger telescope. This would allow for better visibility of its many unique features.
NASA recommends high elevation locations that are dark, dry, and free from light pollution to ensure optimal viewing. NASA states that the view of Jupiter will continue for several days after Monday. The gas giant, outside of the moon should be visible in the night sky.
Jupiter is the largest gas ball in our solar system. It is 318 times larger than Earth, and twice as large as all the other planets. This enormous planet has a surface area greater than 23.7 billion sq. miles. However, because it is made up of hydrogen, helium and other elements, it only has one-fifth of Earth’s density.
NASA claims that Jupiter, despite its mass and size, is still the fastest spinning planet in our solar system. It can spin at speeds exceeding 28,000 mph which allows it to complete a round trip around the Sun within 10 hours.
It is also the third-brightest object in our solar system after Venus and Earth’s Moon. Jupiter would become smaller if it became more massive. This is because the planet’s mass would make it denser and cause it to pull in itself.
Jupiter has a ring system which astronomers believe was created by material from its moons struck by meteorite impacts. It also contains the strongest magnetic field in all of Solar System. This is due to the swirling movements and liquid metallic hydrogen core that moves conducting materials.
There are 67 satellites named and confirmed by the gas giant; however, scientists believe there could be 200 moons orbiting it. However, the four largest moons, known as the Galilean moons, are among the most massive in the solar system. They include Lo, Europa Ganymede, Callisto, and Ganymede.
Jupiter is the star with the strongest magnet field in the solar system. It is created by the swirling movements and liquid hydrogen core that moves within it. This process is made even more efficient due to Jupiter’s fast rotation.
The gas giant’s surface is only 38 miles thick. They are made up of ammonia crystals. However, scientists believe that below the clouds, it is hydrogen and helium.
Giovanni Cassini, an Italian astronomer, discovered the Great Red Spot in 1665. Space.com explains that this spot is actually an anticyclonic storm that exists south of Jupiter’s Equator. It was created by Jupiter’s turbulent, fast-moving atmosphere.
This storm has been raging since at least 350 years ago and measures approximately 15,000 miles across almost 8,900 miles high. It is so big that it could accommodate three planets of Earth size.
A trip to Jupiter. There is no solid surface on Jupiter, so if someone tried to jump onto it from a spacecraft, it would be very difficult. The radiation from the spacesuit would cause them to die and prevent them from reaching the planet within 200,000 miles.
Even with a spacesuit, a person would still fall from the top at more than 110,000mph. Jupiter’s gravity would cause the temperature to drop to 240 degrees Fahrenheit at 150 miles below.
The journey would continue through a whirlpool created by Jupiter’s clouds around the fastest-moving planet in the solar systems. The gas giant is 75 miles further down, which is the deepest that any object has ever been. This was possible because NASA’s Galileo probe reached the depth of the gas giant in 1995 before it was destroyed under the pressure of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
After 12 hours, the environment will become darker and more darkened as you descend, until it is completely black except for lightening storms that are happening around. As the journey progresses down, the temperature will rise. The immense pressure of the gas giant’s core is 1000 times greater than Earth’s. It would also heat up to the Sun’s surface.
However, no matter what, even if someone managed to escape the liquid metallic hydrogen or other hazards through the planet’s core, they would remain trapped in Jupiter’s atmosphere pressure and never be able to escape.
Jupiter can be seen for a few more days after Monday’s close encounter. With clear skies, Kobelski stated that the gas giant should appear brightest in the sky.