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Jupiter brightest, biggest and closet tonight

New Delhi, Dec 3 (): Observing Jupiter is a great way today as it will come close to the Earth.  Jupiter, the largest after the Sun in our solar system will burn bright in the southern sky tonight. At its opposition, it will be fully illuminated by the Sun and so it shines bright at this time.

Jupiter came nearest to our Earth at 8.30 pm on December 1 at 605 million km from the Earth. The distance of Jupiter from Earth is about 588 million kms at the closest while its maximum distance is 967 million kms.

N. Sri Raghunandan Kumar, Planetary Society of India said that the gas giant Jupiter is at its closet approach. For the next coming months, Jupiter will be seen brighter in the evening sky.  It will appear to rise at sunset and set at sunrise.

This type of opposition happens in every 13 months. It happened on October 29, 2011 and the next will be January 6, 2014. It will not be as close in 2014 as this year.

The Jupiter can be seen with naked eyes after the sunset in the eastern direction tonight.

It can be seen all through the night and at midnight it can be seen in the southern direction at a higher elevation. Jupiter will continue bright and close through December 2012 and January 2013. But today (Dec 3) evening’s show will be the best bright visible in this time.

The fifth Planet from the Sun, Jupiter has at least 67 moons, including the four large moons called the Galilean moons. As it spins 24 times faster than our own world, it is possible to watch an entire rotation of the planet in one night.

The B.M. Birla Planetarium is planning for the public to view this event at Periyar Science and Technology Centre Campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road, between 6.30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Monday.