Starwatch: close encounters with Jupiter

After reaching its closest approach to Earth tonight, Jupiter comes into conjunction with the full moon next Sunday

Today Jupiter reaches its closest approach to Earth for the year. The configuration is known as opposition, as the sun is directly opposite the planet in the sky. This means the planet reaches its highest altitude (culminates) at or around midnight. However, for this particular opposition, that altitude is not large for many northern observers. From London, Jupiter will culminate at just 15 degrees in altitude so you will need a clear southern horizon to spot the brightly shining planet.

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