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June 10, 2019 - Close Call

Close Call  Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, reaches opposition on Monday this week. Like many astronomical events, this one is significant because of our perspective from Earth, not because of any inherent changes of condition on Jupiter. On Monday, Jupiter will be positioned on the  opposite side of the Sun as seen from the Earth. This means that the Sun, Earth, and Jupiter line up, with Earth sitting between the Sun and the gas giant. Opposition also marks Jupiter’s closest point to us, and the planet appears brighter in the night sky than at any other time in the year. It will rise at sunset and be visible all night long. During Jupiter’s 2017 opposition, researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope photographed exquisite details in Jupiter’s atmosphere as small as about 129 km (80 mi) across.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (GSFC)

Weekly Calendar

June 10 - 16, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 10

First Qtr Moon 1:59 AM ET
Jupiter at opposition

1985: Vega 1 deploys lander and balloon on Venus
2003: Mars rover Spirit launched

Moon phase Tuesday 11

2008: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched
2013: Shenzhou 10 launched, China's fifth human spaceflight mission

Moon phase Wednesday 12

1967: Venera 4 launched

Moon phase Thursday 13

1831: James Clerk Maxwell born
1974: National Space Society founded
1983: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system, begins traveling in interstellar space
2010: Hayabusa spacecraft returns first asteroid samples to Earth
2012: NuSTAR X-Ray telescope launched

Moon phase Friday 14

Flag Day

1967: Mariner 5 launched
1975: Venera 10 launched
1985: Vega 2 deploys lander and balloon on Venus

Moon phase Saturday 15

Ceres 0.9° south of Moon

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch
2010: Soyuz TMA-19 launched carrying ISS Expedition 24/25 crew

Moon phase Sunday 16

Father's Day

Jupiter 2° south of Moon

1963: Vostok 6 launched; Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space, still the only solo spaceflight by a woman
2012: Shenzhou 9 launched, fourth Chinese human space flight

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.