Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will make its closest approach to Earth in about last six decades, next week.
On 26 September, Jupiter will also reach 'opposition', a phenomenon that, from the viewpoint of Earth’s surface, 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.
Further, the planet 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.
According to a NASA statement, Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition.
At its closest approach, Jupiter will be approximately 590 million km in distance from Earth, about the same distance it was in 1963.
The massive planet is approximately 960 million km away from Earth at its farthest point.
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