60 days ago
Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed
Jupiter's 11.9-year orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to the Sun – its perihelion – at a distance of 4.95 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.
Jupiter's distance from the Sun doesn't affect its appearance. From Ashburn, at the moment of perihelion it will become visible around 17:36 (EDT), 47° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 22:23.
A chart of the path of Jupiter across the sky in 2023 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.
The position of Jupiter at the moment it passes perihelion will be:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
The sky on 22 Jan 2023
|The sky on 22 January 2023|
1 day old
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.
|26 Sep 2022||– Jupiter at opposition|
|03 Nov 2023||– Jupiter at opposition|
|07 Dec 2024||– Jupiter at opposition|
|10 Jan 2026||– Jupiter at opposition|