Jupiter will rule the sky tonight
Rejoice, amateur astronomers: On Tuesday, Jupiter will shine like never before.
The fifth planet will be at its most visible from Earth on Tuesday night, Space reported. Its brightness in the night sky means that it will even be visible to the naked eye — although you'll have a better chance of seeing the detailed features of the gas giant if you have a telescope.
Jupiter's brightness is due to a phenomenon called opposition, which occurs when a planet is directly on the opposite side of the sky as the sun when observed from Earth. This means that Jupiter will rise right around the same time as sunset, and set at about sunrise. It's expected to rise at 7:48 p.m. ET, but because of the brightness around twilight, it may not be visible until the sky fully darkens. Jupiter is expected to set at 5:58 a.m. ET on May 9, just a short time after the sunrise.
Because planetary orbits aren't perfect circles, Jupiter's brightest night doesn't mean that it's at its closest to Earth, Space explained. Thursday, May 10, is when Jupiter will reach its closest point, at about 365 million miles away. With the aid of a telescope, you may still be able to catch sight of the planet, as well as its four largest moons, for the next few days.
Read more at Space.