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Jupiter and its largest moons are most visible this month

Posted at 4:37 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 19:47:23-04

This month, the planet Jupiter is the star of the night sky. The gas giant, can now be easily seen with the naked eye. June is a stellar month for star gazers.

That’s because the largest planet in the solar system is at its biggest, brightest, and most visible.

According to NASA, stargazers can simply look up with binoculars and spot Jupiter along with its four largest moons.

The reason is because Jupiter, Earth, and the Sun are all aligned and appear brighter in the sky. Dave Hostetter, the planetarium curator at the Lafayette Science Museum, says it’s not rare. However, this month the planet is at its closest to Earth.

“Jupiter is at opposition,”Dave Hostetter said. “Which means that as the Earth and Jupiter go around the sun, Jupiter is at the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. So Jupiter is rising as the sun goes down. It’s in the sky all night and this happens every 13 months or so.”

You can also see four of Jupiter’s 79 moons. You should be able to see it with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope

“It’s the brightest thing in the sky that looks like a star,” Hostetter said.” Very easy to find rising in the southeast as the sky gets dark.”