Jupiter at opposition

FRI, 20 AUG 2021 AT 02:20 CAT (00:20 UTC)

Jupiter will reach opposition, when it lies opposite to the Sun in the sky. Lying in the constellation Capricornus, it will be visible for much of the night, reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight local time.

From Gaborone, it will be visible between 18:31 and 06:10. It will become accessible around 18:31, when it rises to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 00:21, 78° above your northern horizon. It will become inaccessible around 06:10 when it sinks below 8° above your western horizon.


2021 apparition of Jupiter

20 Jun 2021 –Jupiter enters retrograde motion
20 Aug 2021 –Jupiter at opposition
18 Oct 2021 –Jupiter ends retrograde motion

A close approach to the Earth

At around the same time that Jupiter passes opposition, it also makes its closest approach to the Earth – termed its perigee – making it appear at its brightest and largest.

This happens because when Jupiter lies opposite to the Sun in the sky, the Earth passes between Jupiter and the Sun. The solar system is lined up with Jupiter and the Earth on the same side of the Sun, as shown by the configuration labelled perigee in the diagram below:

When a planet is at opposition, the solar system is aligned such that the planet lies on the same side of the Sun as the Earth. At this time, the planet makes its perigee, or closest approach to the Earth. Not drawn to scale.

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