By: Aleena Khan
For all you star-gazing lovers: Looking for something to do? Just look up!
On September 26, 2022, Jupiter was at the closest point to earth since 1963. Just 370 million miles away from Earth, Jupiter could be seen throughout the day and night. The planet could have been seen with binoculars, a telescope, or a phone lens.
Jupiter was in complete opposition to the earth, which only happens around every 13 months, which emphasizes the size and brightness of the planet. Due to the opposition and its close proximity, viewers could see four of Jupiter’s 53 moons, the most common being Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, which are also considered Galilean satellites. The Galilean satellites were seen as bright specs next to Jupiter.
NASA created a spacecraft, Juno, which has been orbiting Jupiter for 6 years and has produced some close up images of the planet's atmosphere, structure, magnetic field and magnetosphere. Juno’s images can help scientists understand the solar system's formation better which can assist in research about other planets such as TIC 172900988b.
Jupiter's exploration is far from finished. Scientists have launched a new project, called the Europa Clippers. This spacecraft will explore Europa, Jupiter’s ionic moon, which has an ocean with an icy layer above, leading scientists to debate whether it can sustain life forms.
The sky has many changing events so sometimes looking up can be part of your entertainment for the night.