Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff hosts viewings as Jupiter swings closest since 1951
Jupiter is making its closest approach to Earth in 70 years, and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff is offering the public the chance to view the gas giant through several of its telescopes, including the historic 24-inch Clark Refractor.
For several weeks surrounding Jupiter’s closest opposition to Earth on Sept. 26, admission to Lowell will also buy visitors a glimpse of the largest planet in the solar system and some of its 80-or-so known moons.
The term “opposition” refers to when Jupiter is on the “opposite” side of the Earth from the sun.
Because orbits are not circular, some bring Jupiter and Earth closer together than others.
Though Jupiter is in opposition every 399 days, this is its closest one to Earth since 1951; those who miss it will have to wait more than a century to see the planet this bright again.