Keep an eye on the sky this month as the mighty Jupiter puts on a show.
NASA says Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in June — so close that skywatchers will be able to see it with the naked eye, and even some of its largest moons using simple equipment.
“The solar system’s largest planet is a brilliant jewel to the naked eye, but looks fantastic through binoculars or a small telescope, which will allow you to spot the four largest moons,” the U.S. space agency posted on its website.
Some might also “glimpse a hint of the banded clouds” that surround the planet, NASA said.
The best opportunity will be Monday when Jupiter, Earth and Saturn all fall into a straight line, an annual event called “opposition.” From June 14 to 19, amateur astronomers can see a “beautiful lineup” of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn, which will change each night as the moon orbits Earth.
“While you’re out marveling at this trio, there’s a really neat astronomy observation you can attempt yourself, just by paying attention to the moon’s movement from night to night,” the agency added on its website.
For those who would like an even closer look at the largest planet in our solar system, NASA suggests visiting its website for images sent back by Juno, the spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter.