The closest approach to Jupiter in 59 years

The best nights in 2022 to watch Jupiter in the night sky are about to arrive; this will be a display unlike any in the previous seven decades.

On September 26, when Jupiter is in opposition, the Sun, Earth, and Jupiter will align almost exactly. At this period, the gas giant is also closest to the planet.

The closest Jupiter has been to Earth in 59 years will be 367 million miles away on the day before opposition. Jupiter was in this close proximity when John F. Kennedy was president.

The 25th and 26th of September will be the greatest evenings of 2022 to observe Jupiter, but there will be plenty of other opportunities.

  Jupiter will get darker in October as the distance between Earth and Jupiter increases. Between September 26 and October 1, the planet's brightness changed.

The four largest moons of Jupiter are Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and lo. Since Jupiter's moons orbit so quickly, a telescope can see their shifting positions over the course of several nights.