Jupiter at Opposition on July 13–14

Jupiter at Opposition

What is the Opposition?

In our Solar System planets are usually divided into two groups — the inner and outer planets. According to classical astronomy theory, the inner planets are Venus and Mercury. Their orbits pass inside the orbit of the Earth, so this is the reason why they are called the inner planets.

When will we see Jupiter in the sky?

Jupiter is always bright — it’s the largest planet in our solar system. It shines more brightly than any star in the evening sky. At this 2020 opposition, Jupiter shines close to the planet Saturn, in front of the constellation Sagittarius. There’s no way to mistake Saturn for Jupiter, though, because dazzling Jupiter outshines this 1st-magnitude star by some 14 times. With the exception of the Sun and the Moon, only Venus — the brightest planet, now low in the east before sunrise — outshines Jupiter.

How frequent Jupiter’s Opposition is?

Jupiter comes to opposition roughly about every 13 months. This is how long Earth takes to travel once around the Sun relative to Jupiter. As a result, Jupiter comes a month later every year. Last year, 2019 the date of opposition was June 10 and if you miss this year’s opposition, don’t worry! Thirteen months later Jupiter’s opposition will happen again — in 2021 it’ll be August 19.

Pluto reaches Opposition along with Jupiter

Pluto will reach an opposition just around middle July — on July 15. It is pretty rare to witness these two planets at oppositions almost together! Though, keep in mind that to actually see Pluto in the sky, you’ll need a telescope with at least an 8-inch diameter mirror or, which is way easier, download Star Walk 2 and enjoy it whenever you want.

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