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Soon a special night! Jupiter will be closest to Earth in 70 years

Opposition occurs when two bodies viewed from Earth are facing each other. Most often we are talking about the opposition of the observed body to the sun. Jupiter’s opposition, i.e. when the Sun and Jupiter are on opposite sides of the Earth, occurs every 13 months. Jupiter then appears brighter and larger. This time, however, the opposition will be unique, because at the same time Jupiter will be at perihelion, which is the point of its orbit closest to the Sun. So we will be dealing with a great opposition, also known as the great rapprochement, which takes place every several years. This time, however, Jupiter during the opposition will be closest to the Earth in 70 years.

Jupiter’s opposition rarely coincides with its perihelion. Therefore, it is worth devoting part of the night to observation. Jupiter will be one of the brightest – and perhaps even the brightest – objects in the night sky. Right after the moon, of course.

We will have to wait until October 2, 2034 for the next great rapprochement of Jupiter. But then the planet will be 700,000. km farther from Earth than at the present great approximation.

Jupiter is of great interest to scientists. The planet is currently under investigation by the Juno mission. It was launched in 2011 and reached the planet in 2016. Initially, it was planned that the entire mission would last 7 years. Juno has been working for 11 years, and recently NASA extended its mission until 2025. In 2024, the launch of the Europa mission, which is to study one of the Galilean moons – Europe, is planned.

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