Jupiter’s 2019 return!

June 10th, 2019 | by sbieger |

Another year here on Earth and another orbit around the sun. And another chance to “catch up” with Jupiter in its orbit. The King of our Solar System is hovering just east of Antares in Scorpius for the coming months.

We will get a good line of site on Jupiter at Fernbank Science Center (FSC) in June, although its still quite low in the evening sky for the coming weeks. But not to worry, there’s plenty of time since our largest planet will be visible through late October, at least. Every week, Jupiter climbs about 6 degrees higher in the eastern sky so each night we get a better chance for views through a ever thinner atmosphere. By mid August, the reverse will happen and the planet will be working its way down to the west each night.

The weather has been more and more challenging this last couple of years. It’s not just cloud but also more windy weather so the seeing has not been compatible with good views of the Great Red Spot (GRS). When the atmosphere is stirred up even on these breezy days, the fine highlights get smeared and hard to focus. But you never know your luck with Jupiter. If one is vigilant, sometimes the King reveals wonderful details of it’s clouds and their structure.

Keep your lucky charms handy and keep your eyes upward towards Jupiter, King of our Solar System!

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