Jupiter will be so close in June that you can see the planet and its largest moons with just binoculars
Jupiter will be clearly visible on June 10; you may even 'glimpse' a hint of the banded clouds that encircle the planet.
There's excellent news in store for space lovers this month. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will be so close to Earth in June that its largest moons will be visible with binoculars or a small telescope.
In its skywatching tips for June 2019, NASA explains that "Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest this month, rising at dusk and remaining visible all night. The solar system's largest planet is a brilliant jewel to the naked eye, but looks fantastic through binoculars or a small telescope."
The skywatching tips further say that this will allow you to spot Jupiter's four largest moons, and maybe even 'glimpse' a hint of the banded clouds that encircle the planet.
Jupiter will be clearly visible on June 10. National Geographic in a report explains this further by saying that on the night of June 10, Jupiter will officially reach opposition, which implies that it will be directly opposite to the sun from our perspective and will be well lit and visible from sundown to sunrise.
"Opposition also means that Jupiter will be at its closest to Earth in its orbital cycle, coming within 398 million miles of us. This will make it 11 million miles closer than last year's opposition, so it should be stunningly bright, outshining even the nearby brilliant star Antares," reports National Geographic.
The June 2019 skywatching tips from NASA also says that in mid-June, for two days -- June 17 and 18 -- Mars and Mercury will appear "ultra-close together immediately after sunset".
"You will need a pretty clear view of the western horizon to catch them, as the pair will be only a few degrees above it (and the farther north you are, the lower they'll be). But it should be spectacular if you can manage it," it says.