BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's an opposition that happens every 13 months or so, but the "Gas Giant" Jupiter is expected make its closest appearance of nearly the last six decades on Monday night.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement that onlookers could spot the "Great Red Spot" with a large telescope with some filters in the green and blue range for the best glimpse. Officials say this will be Jupiter's closest approach to Earth since 1963, an opposition that happens when an astronomical object and the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.
“With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible,” said Adam Kobelski, a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use.”
Though the viewing experience isn't tied down to just Monday, as officials say Jupiter can be visible for a few days before and after September 26. According to NASA, a year on the planet named after the King of Roman Gods lasts about 4,333 Earth days.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory did an entire segment on Jupiter's opposition and the best ways to see the ordeal when the sun falls for the evening.
WBZ's Charlie Bergeron (@CharlieBergeron) reports.