GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

Jupiter which is the largest planet of the solar system will make a closest approach to Earth in 70 years on 26 September 2022, NASA said. Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, making the planet appear larger and brighter than any other time of the year.

What

  1. As per NASA, from the viewpoint of Earth’s surface, opposition happens when an astronomical object rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth.
  2. But that’s not all. Jupiter will also make its closest approach to Earth in the last 70 years!
  3. The Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition as both the planets do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles – meaning the planets will pass each other at different distances throughout the year.
  4. Jupiter will be approximately 365 million miles in distance from Earth. At its farthest point, the planet is approximately 600 million miles away from Earth.
  5. Jupiter has 53 named moons, but scientists believe that 79 moons have been detected in total.
  6. The four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are called the Galilean satellites. They are named after the man who first observed them in 1610, Galileo Galilei.
  7. NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter for six years, and is dedicated to exploring the planet’s surface and its moons. Juno’s mission was recently extended until 2025 or until the end of the spacecraft’s life.
  8. Scientists believe studying Jupiter can lead to breakthrough discoveries about the formation of the solar system.