Watching the Skies: Jupiter in opposition


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Last week was an exciting week for stargazers, with the comet NEOWISE lighting up the morning sky. The comet is now visible in the evening sky in northern latitudes, giving the non-early risers a chance to see it.

If you’re out after sunset looking for the comet, you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter will come into opposition the night of July 13, meaning Earth will be between the sun and Jupiter and Jupiter will be directly opposite the sun. This event happens about once a year.
Look for the sun to set in the west as Jupiter rises in the east. Saturn will be close to Jupiter, but not nearly as bright.

The moon will be passing by Venus in the early morning sky through the week. The moon and Venus are the second- and third-brightest celestial objects in the night sky, so both will be very easy to pick out. To see the pair, look to the east about an hour before the sun comes up. Mercury will be visible on the horizon, but binoculars will likely be needed to spot it.

After you’ve found Venus and the moon to the east, turn around and look to the west to see Jupiter and Saturn sinking back down.

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