Hubble's' Jupiter to shine bright tonight, comes close to Earth forming straight line Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system to make a close approach to Earth on April 7.
Jupiter will be moving 414 million miles close to planet Earth making an extraordinary night sky bright. This year on March 28, NASA released amazing photos of Jupiter which was taken by Juno. Juno, basketball court-sized space probe has been orbiting the gas giant since last July.
On April 3, Hubble snapped the photo, four days before Jupiter comes on the opposite side of the Earth (It means that it will form a straight line with Earth and the sun, with Earth in the middle).
At its most distant, Jupiter gets about 601 million miles (968 million km) from Earth.
Jupiter will rise in the East around sunset which will be visible all night.
You can observe Jupiter for a couple of nights in a row, and you may see moon changing their relative positions, as each orbits Jupiter at a different speed.
"This changing pattern of moons is what allowed Galileo to discover the four Gallilean moons, each about the size of our own moon, a little over 400 years ago," Dr. Tyler Nordgren, an astronomer at the University of the Redlands in California, told NBC MACH in an email.
If you're stuck indoors — or if clouds obscure the sky — you can enjoy a live stream featuring telescopic views of Jupiter and its moons in the video player below starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT on April 7.
That's where Juno comes in.
"Juno's science goals are to learn about how Jupiter was formed, whether Jupiter has a core of heavy elements at its center, how much water is in Jupiter, and what the interior of Jupiter is like," Dr. Scott Bolton, principal investigator of the Juno mission and an associate vice-president at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, told NBC MACH in an email. "This helps us understand how giant planets work and how our solar system was made."
Juno will be collecting data at least through September 2021, Bolton said. If you miss Jupiter tomorrow night, your next chance to see it at opposition will come on May 8, 2018.
Hubble, a joint mission of NASA and the European Space Agency, has been orbiting Earth for nearly 27 years. The telescope launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990, and was deployed a day later.