Jupiter at its biggest and brightest tonight

Jupiter is extra close and extra bright

MINNEAPOLIS - Look up tonight, with just a few clouds in our forecast we should have a great night and weekend to look at Jupiter...no telescope needed.

"As it rises in the east you will be able to see it in the Virgo constellation, it will rise and it will be up all night. The reason why it's such a great time to see Jupiter is because it's in a position we call opposition." said Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Hubble Senior Project Scientist.

Opposition happens when the planet is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. This year Jupiter will be precisely 414,122,760 miles away from Earth. This year, the Hubble Space Telescope was able to take a great snapshot of what the planet looks like including the colorful bands that circle the gas giant.

"They represent different parts of the atmosphere, sometimes moving at different velocities around the planet. You can also see features of storms, that great red spot." said Dr. Wiseman

The great red spot is the most famous part of Jupiter, this giant storm can fit two Earth's inside the storm! Recently, scientists have noticed that it is changing.

"It's not always the same color, its not always the same shape, in fact it's getting rounder over time and smaller over time. It seems to be shrinking. We don't really know why." said Dr. Wiseman

Jupiter will rise in the eastern sky after the sun sets, you should be able to see it after 8 p.m. It will be in our night sky all night and setting in the west Saturday morning.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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