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Rare treat for stargazers this week - here's how to see it

Wales Online logo Wales Online 11/06/2019 Dan Kay & Zara Whelan
Jupiter and its moons © TV Grab Jupiter and its moons

Stargazers are in for a treat this week with the movement of Jupiter closer to Earth giving a rare glimpse of the moon's of the solar system's largest planet.

Jupiter will be at the nearest point to Earth in its orbital cycle, 398 million miles away, according to NASA experts.

This means some of Jupiter's moons will be visible without specialist equipment as they will be a mere 11 million miles closer to us, in comparison to last year's opposition, which is the point where both planets are in line with the sun.

Video: Jupiter puts on a planetary show (NBC)


The giant gas planet Jupiter will be at its 'biggest and brightest' this month, according to the space agency, and will be visible throughout the night, even in the UK, North Wales Live reports .

It will be easily visible to the naked eye but, if you're able to get hold of a pair of binoculars, a rare in-depth glimpse of the gargantuan planet - along with its four largest moons - can be enjoyed.

When will be the best time to see it?

While Jupiter will be visible in the night skies all through June, the optimum time will be between June 10 and June 12.

Both Earth and Jupiter will be in opposition as our planet laps the giant in orbit on June 10, offering the best views.

Jupiter will rise just after the sun sets, and will be the brightest visible object in the sky aside from the moon.

What will be visible?

With a pair of binoculars and clear conditions, you will be able to get a decent view of the planet itself in all its colourful glory.

And you might even be able to see the largest of the planet's 79 known moons - Europa, Ganymede, Io and Callisto.

You could also catch a glimpse of the planet's banded clouds and belts that encircle the planet, while a small telescope may also pick up the planet's Great Red Spot.

As with most meteorological events, you will get the best views away from built-up areas and light pollution.

Gallery: Explore the planets in our solar system (Photos)


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