New Jupiter image captured by Hubble Space Telescope

New Jupiter image captured by Hubble Space Telescope

New Jupiter image captured by Hubble Space Telescope

Opposition also marks the point in a planet's orbit when it's closest to Earth; indeed, Jupiter is now just 415 million miles (670 million kilometers) from Earth. Although Spica is the 16th brightest star in the sky, it's just 4 percent as bright as "Big Jupe". Jupiter will appear brighter than usual - the brightest all year.

Friday evening, the king of the planets (at least in this particular solar system) officially reaches opposition - from our blue planet perspective, Jupiter is directly opposite the sun and we're in the middle.

It's a busy time for Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Opposition also marks Jupiter's closest point to us, and the planet appears brighter in the night sky than at any other time in the year.

Steady binoculars or any small telescope will reveal Jupiter's four traveling companions, discovered by Galileo in 1610. The good news is that nothing will be able to dim papa Jupiter's glamour tonight as even Venus will shine for a short while, letting the planet take the centre stage.

The most prominent feature in the image is, of course, the Great Red Spot - a persistent and huge storm that has been rumbling in the gas giant's southern hemisphere for at least the past 300 Earth years.

Boulder weather: Sunny skies with a high of 54
Friday will also be sunny, with the high climbing to around 65 degrees, the National Weather Service office in Valley said. Highs in the 70s are likely, with Billings approaching the record high for April 7 of 77 degrees set back in 2005.

Will you see Jupiter at Opposition?

Don't mistake it for one of Jupiter's moons. They will cross the night sky together and be visible low in the southwestern sky before sunrise.

When this happens, every 13 months or so, it is the flawless time to aim the Hubble Space Telescope at the giant planet, to capture the greatest amount of details from its cloud bands and swirling storms.

The Great Red Spot is an vast, persistent anticyclonic storm, that churns away at 22 degrees South latitude on Jupiter. Depending on Jupiter's position with respect to the Earth, it might vary in visual magnitude while in conjunction with the Sun. Since this vortex, which is large enough to engulf three Earths, was first spotted in 1664, scientists have noticed that it has been shrinking.

The luminous giant saunters into the night heavens amid the Virgo constellation, ascending in the east around 7:30 p.m., and becoming visible over the trees around 8 p.m.

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