GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, makes its closest pass to Earth today, April 8, 2017. It will come within 414 million miles of Earth. It’s an opportune time for the Hubble Space Telescope to aim toward Jupiter and capture the beautiful image you’re seeing above. This photo was taken on April 3, 2017. Here’s how NASA describes it:
“Hubble reveals the intricate, detailed beauty of Jupiter’s clouds as arranged into bands of different latitudes, known as tropical regions. These bands are produced by air flowing in different directions at various latitudes. Lighter colored areas, called zones, are high-pressure where the atmosphere rises. Darker low-pressure regions where air falls are called belts. The planet’s trademark, the Great Red Spot, is a long-lived storm roughly the diameter of Earth. Much smaller storms appear as white or brown-colored ovals. Such storms can last as little as a few hours or stretch on for centuries.”
Seeing Jupiter now is easy! It will appear as a bight “star” in the eastern evening sky. The moon will pass by the planet early this week, making it even easier to spot.
Clear skies and quiet weather over the next several days should make it very easy to spot Jupiter each night.
Pierce Legeion is a meteorologist and digital journalist for WNCT 9 First Alert Weather.
Featured image courtesy: NASA/ ESA/ A. Simon (GSFC)