spot the big red spot
Jupiter will be the closest to Earth in 59 years on Monday
Jupiter is going to be the closest it has been to Earth in 59 years on Monday night at approximately 367 million miles away, CNN reports. At its furthest, the gas giant can be almost 600 million miles away.
The planet will be at opposition, meaning it's "on the opposite side of Earth from the sun," NPR reports. So, when looking from Earth, Jupiter will consequently rise to the east as the sun sets to the west. Its opposition happens approximately every 13 months and can be attributed to both Jupiter and Earth's non-circular orbits.
The planet will be visible to the naked eye around sunset and will look pearly white in color, according to Patrick Hartigan, physics and astronomy professor at Rice University in Houston. However, the best way to experience the sighting will be with binoculars or a telescope so you can see the banding of Jupiter and maybe even some moons.
The views should last for a few days after Monday, as well. "Jupiter is so bright and brilliant," said Alphonse Sterling, a NASA astrophysicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "I would say that it's a good thing to take advantage of and to look at no matter where you're at."