see jupiter toronto

Jupiter is about to get super close to Earth and here's how to see it from Toronto

In just a few days time, Jupiter will make its closest approach to earth in 59 years, and the planet will be highly visible when gazing up at the night sky.

According to NASA, the approach will happen on the night of Sept. 26, and it will reportedly reach opposition at the exact same time — making it visible and bright to the human eye.

"From the viewpoint of Earth's surface, opposition 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," according to NASA.

While Jupiter's opposition happens every 13 months, it's extremely rare for the planet's closest approach to occur at the same time as opposition, meaning you won't want to miss the unique and rare views it provides.

According to NASA, Jupiter will be about 367 million miles (or 590 million kilometres) away from Earth, and the last time it was that close was in 1963.

At its farthest point, the planet is usually about 600 million miles (or 965 million kilometres) away from Earth.

If you're hoping to get a good view of this astronomical event, you're in luck, because Jupiter will be highly visible on and around the night of the 26th. 

Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, said in a NASA statement that the planet will be one of, if not the brightest objects in the sky besides the moon. 

He recommends using binoculars or even a telescope to get the best view, and he also suggests stargazing from a high elevation in a dark and dry area.

That means you might have to travel away from Toronto's bright city lights to spot this natural wonder, but it'll no doubt be worth the trek. 

And since the view of the planet should be spectacular for a few days before and after Sept. 26, make sure to choose the day with the best weather for your Jupiter-gazing adventure.

Lead photo by

NASA, ESA, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), and M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley)

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