© NASA/Cassini

Jupiter at aphelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Jupiter
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The sky at

Jupiter's 11.9-year orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point to the Sun – its aphelion – at a distance of 5.46 AU.

In practice, however, Jupiter's orbit is very close to circular; its distance from the Sun only varies by about 10.2% between perihelion and aphelion. This means that the difference in the amount of heat and light it receives from the Sun between aphelion and perihelion is extremely small.

Finding Jupiter

Jupiter's distance from the Sun doesn't affect its appearance. From Fairfield, at the moment of aphelion it will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:36, when it reaches an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:30, 41° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:26, 26° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

A chart of the path of Jupiter across the sky in 2017 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Jupiter at the moment it passes aphelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 13h26m10s -07°27' Virgo -2.3 40.0"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 17 February 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

20-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


20 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:20 11:18 16:15
Venus 07:58 14:28 20:58
Moon 23:29 04:53 10:17
Mars 08:34 14:57 21:21
Jupiter 21:49 03:30 09:07
Saturn 03:04 07:45 12:25
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

17 Feb 2017  –  Jupiter at aphelion
07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Oct 2017  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
08 May 2018  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

© NASA/Cassini






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