How to see Jupiter from the SF Bay area on Monday night
Jupiter will be closest to Earth in nearly six decades on Monday night, according to A From NASA — there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see the fifth planet from the sun as it shines in the night sky.
This is because Jupiter will be in opposition, which means it will be on the far side of Earth from the sun, which happens every 13 months and makes the planet appear larger in the sky than at any other time of the year, said John Reese. A supporting astronomer at the Lake Observatory on Mount Hamilton told SFGATE in an email Monday morning.
Ben Powers, an astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Auckland, added that this year won’t be like any other – Jupiter will be closer than usual by about 367 million miles. The last time the planet was this close to Earth was in 1963.
“Because this opposition is closer than most, it’s going to be a little brighter,” Burse said. “For someone looking at Jupiter through a telescope, Jupiter’s disk would be at its largest—a size that cannot be seen from Earth.”
The planet will rise at sunset and is expected to appear at 7:45 pm PT, although it can be seen at 7 pm, and will gradually become more visible throughout the night. At about 01.00, Reese said, it will move south before reaching west at about 06.15.
“To the eye, Jupiter would look like a very bright star,” Reese said. “It must be one of the brightest objects in the night sky.”
Saturn and Mars will also be observable on Monday night, and if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you’ll be able to see three or four of Jupiter’s moons in Galilee. Jupiter has 53 moons that have been officially named by the International Astronomical Union, but as many as 79 of them have been discovered, according to NASA. The four that can be seen are the largest and brightest and are called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto – or the Galilean satellites, which received their name after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei first observed them in 1610. There’s also a chance you’ll see them. You can see this coverage of Jupiter if you have a fixed stand or tripod.
“If you had cloud cover last night, you might get it again tonight,” Roger Gass, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told SFGATE by phone. “It looks like the summer-type Stratos pattern will continue tonight through tomorrow, with clouds racing inland tonight into the wee hours of the night as we keep a fairly solid layer of ocean in place. … It wouldn’t be suitable for stargazing, or gazing at planets. , that’s for sure.”
However, if you try to stare at the night sky, the higher the altitude, the better. He suggested Mount Diablo or Mount Tamalpais as potential viewing points in the afternoon with a warning that clouds might roll in at night.
But the good news is that although Jupiter will be closest to Earth on Monday night, it will still be quite close for the next few weeks, so the scenery on Tuesday or later in the week likely won’t be much different, he said.
Gass added that fog is expected in the second half of the week. For now, it’s worth a look.
“It must be an amazing sight,” Prosper said.