Close up pictures of Jupiter taken by Hubble Space Telescope

It really is visible towards the naked eye at night sky and can occasionally be seen within the daytime when the Sun is lower. This means that the Sun, Earth and Jupiter line up, with Earth sitting in between the Sun and the gas giant. The actual angular diameter of Jupiter varies, favorable oppositions occur when Jupiter planet is passing through perihelion, an event that occurs once per orbit. Eastern, but fear not.

NASA has confirmed that sky gazers can get to see the bigger and brighter Jupiter, and its large four moons Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io using a binocular starting from Friday.

"With its enormous and powerful storms and hundreds of smaller vortices, the atmosphere of Jupiter is divided into several distinct, colorful bands, parallel to the equator", NASA said in a statement accompanying the image.

Until a couple of weeks ago, Venus was the predominant evening object, blazing brilliantly in the western sky; skywatchers could have christened her the "Queen of the Evening". By midnight, it will be overhead. That's almost three times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky; compare the two at around 9 p.m. local daylight time this week, when they'll appear at about the same altitude above the horizon, Jupiter about 20 degrees high in the east-southeast and Sirius at a similar height in the southwest.

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Today, Earth is planting itself almost right between the sun and Jupiter, the first time this year as Jupiter nears its closest approach to Earth. The next one is expected to happen in May next year. Journey into the cosmos to explore gnarly nebulaeNASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope will take advantage of this great viewing opportunity and capture new, detailed views of Jupiter.

"Jupiter is at his best and brightest, as well as at his closest distance to us", Chester wrote. It was a few days from opposition when Hubble captured this image. It's the biggest, brightest spot we can see on a clear night.

Once every 13 months, Jupiter comes in opposition.

For an engrossing discussion and fresh telescope views, go to - an astronomy webcaster - Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET, where astronomers will deliberate the opposition, the planet's moons, and grasp the historical and cultural significance surrounding this world so far away.

  • Toni Ryan