Don’t miss the opportunity to watch Jupiter in the best conditions of the last half century

In recent nights, around 19:30 local time, a bright light attracts attention in the horizon of the eastern sky, which after about 60 years in the best Observational conditions have been set.

BingMag.com Don’t miss the opportunity to watch Jupiter in the best conditions of the last half century

In recent nights, around 19:30 local time, a bright light attracts attention in the horizon of the eastern sky, which after about 60 years in the best Observational conditions have been set.

This body can be seen with a constant and silvery glow, and a few hours later, when it has risen significantly higher in the eastern and southeastern part of the sky, it attracts even better eyes. Of course, this spectacular sight is not too far off because it is the king of the planets shining in the evening sky: Jupiter.

And this bright light promises a rather promising week, as Jupiter Meanwhile, we see that as it approaches the perihelion, it appears larger and brighter to a terrestrial observer: this point in Jupiter's 12-year orbit places it at its closest point to the Sun.

Jupiter is It is now 11 percent larger and more than one and a half times brighter than it was in April 2017. At that time, the planet was at the apogee and farthest from the Sun.

Despite the approach, even binoculars with 7x zoom and constant power show Jupiter as a small disc. A small telescope will do much better, and on larger instruments even Jupiter will turn into a series of bright reds, yellows, and browns, as well as many other telescope details.

Amateur astronomers all summer long from this. The big planet was photographed when it was getting closer to Earth. Now Jupiter's opposition, that is, when it will be in the sky all night long, from sunset to sunrise, will occur on Monday, September 26 (4 Mehr). It will be at its closest distance to the Earth since 1963 AD (1342 solar years), which will be 591 million 168 thousand 168 kilometers, and there is a good opportunity to watch it.

This distance may be exactly It may not seem "close" but Jupiter is so big and bright that it is not only easily seen with the naked eye, but with a small telescope that only has 36x magnification, it looks about the size of the moon.

Giant. Among the giants

At 142,984 km, Jupiter is almost 11 times the diameter of Earth and takes about 12 years to complete one trip around the Sun. But despite this long year, its day is short, rotating in less than 10 hours.

For a planet this size, this rotation speed is amazing, making a point on Jupiter's equator move faster than to move from 35 thousand kilometers per hour. Meanwhile, a point from the Earth's equator moves at a speed of about 1600 km/h.

This high speed has made Jupiter look like a slightly expanded ball. A planet with a rocky core covered in a thick mantle of metallic hydrogen and surrounded by a thick atmosphere of multicolored clouds of ammonium hydrosulfide.

BingMag.com Don’t miss the opportunity to watch Jupiter in the best conditions of the last half century

Watch Jupiter shine
Credit: Haitong Yu/Getty Images

Jupiter is so gigantic that it has a mass of more than It has twice as many as all the other seven planets. In addition, it has one of the most mysterious spots among the planets: the "Red Giant Spot", which comes and goes unpredictably and has a diameter the size of Earth.

There is also evidence that shows Jupiter loses more heat energy through radiation than it receives from the Sun, and therefore it may produce energy itself. An activity that is usually characteristic of a star rather than a planet.

This planet also has a weak ring system. However, unlike Saturn's famous rings, which are made of ice and are highly reflective, Jupiter's rings are mostly composed of tiny dust particles.

And Jupiter, like Earth, has a magnetic field and a large, donut-shaped belt of Electrically charged particles surround this planet. A ring similar to the Van Allen belt of solar charged particles trapped by the Earth's magnetic field.

Dance of the moons

But among Jupiter's features, we should not forget its four main moons, which 412 They were discovered years ago by Galileo. This collection is considered a telescopic treasure. The four bodies named Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are racing each other as if in a lively race and orbiting Jupiter so fast that their arrangement is continuous. It varies.

The rotation period varies from 1.68 days for Io to 16.7 days for Callisto, causing their shadows to fall on the planet, disappearing behind its giant disk, or falling into its shadow. River.

For example, on the morning of October 4, you can see the three moons Io, Europa and Callisto on one side of Jupiter and the moon Ganymede on the other side. The next morning, on October 5, Europa and Io will join Ganymede, and it will be Callisto who will be alone on the other side of Jupiter. Then in the morning of 6 Mehr two moons Europa and Ganymede will be on one side, and the two moons Io and Callisto on the other.

At 12:08 EST on September 28, Ganymede will appear to pass in front of Jupiter. An event called a transit and due to its symmetry with the day, will not be seen in Iran.

Jupiter has 76 other moons in addition to four big moons. Many of them are very small and were discovered thanks to the space probes that passed by Jupiter in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Jupiter spin?

When Jupiter Rising high in Earth's sky, it may appear to some to be moving in a circle or spiral, and over the years, some observers who have watched it claim to have seen the planet moving back and forth.

BingMag.com Don’t miss the opportunity to watch Jupiter in the best conditions of the last half century

Jupiter and its Great Red Spot
Credit: NASA

But what is the origin of this idea of movement? Most likely, those who have seen this strange movement have experienced the "Autokinetic" effect. This phenomenon is a kind of human visual perception, in which a fixed and small point of light on a dark background without other features appears to be moving. or planets attributed. Psychologists attribute the perception of motion where there is none to "small, involuntary movements of the eyeball".

The autokinetic effect is even enhanced by suggestion: if a person reports that a light is It's moving, others are probably reporting the same.

Right now, Jupiter shines in the constellation of Pisces. A star pattern consisting mainly of faint stars. Under a clear and dark sky and without the presence of a moon around this planet, Jupiter is the undisputed king of this area of the sky. have an autokinetic effect and see it rotating or in a small circle. You can take this spectacular opportunity and try staring at Jupiter this week in the late evening hours and see if it moves for you?!

Also if you want a great view of Jupiter when Instead, you can use the telescope buying guide or the binocular buying guide. To get the best pictures of Jupiter, the night sky photography guide will help you.

Cover photo: Jupiter in the night sky
Credit: Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Sources: Space, Nojum Magazine

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