Jupiter Being the Closest to Earth in 59 Years




Nigel Howe

Jupiter 17/01/2017 Jupiter

On Sept. 26, 2022, the planet Jupiter was the closest to Earth that it has been since 1963. Being only 367 million miles away, it was just close enough for people to see its rings with the naked eye. Normally, Jupiter is recorded as being around 500 million to 600 million miles away.

In the solar system, Jupiter is the fifth planet away from the sun. It is the largest planet and is one of the four gas giants in our solar system. Being almost entirely made of gasses like hydrogen and helium, it lacks any sort of solid ground.

Jupiter is known for having many visible rings across its surface. These rings are divided into four categories: the Halo ring, Main ring, Amalthea Gossamer ring, and the Thebe Gossamer ring, which all have different widths and lengths. These rings were clearly visible during the event.

Jupiter also has other notable features such as the Great Red Spot. This is a ginormous storm that has been observed since the 17th century. This means that the storm on Jupiter has lasted for more than 300 years.

With Jupiter being further away from the Sun, its orbit takes 12 years. Earth’s orbit takes 1/12 of that time, so both planets are at different distances almost all of the time. Because both planets follow different orbital paths at different speeds, events where they come the closest to each other do not happen often.

The last recorded event of Jupiter coming the closest possible to Earth was 59 years ago in 1963. The next time that NASA believes this will happen again is in 2129, more than 100 years in the future.

If you did not get the chance to see Jupiter for yourself this year, you likely will not be able to see it again in your lifetime. There are still many different ways to see Jupiter. Some ways to see Jupiter and other planets for yourself can be looking up pictures on the internet or buying your own telescope to look at the planets.