Jupiter at opposition 2024: All you need to know

Jupiter at opposition in 2024 marks the best time to see Jupiter in the sky in 2024.

Jupiter at opposition

Planet Jupiter is in opposition
Planet Jupiter at opposition. (Image credit: NASA)

Planet Jupiter at opposition, meaning it’s directly opposite the sun, as seen from the earth. So during the opposition, planet Jupiter and the sun are located on opposite sides of the earth.

During the opposition, planet Jupiter is visible all night under clear skies as it rises in the east around the time of sunset, reaches its highest point (overhead point) in the sky around midnight and sets in the west around the time of sunrise.

So the opposition of Jupiter marks the best time to observe the planet. More precisely, it signifies the middle of the best time of the year to observe the planet.

After opposition, planet Jupiter disappears from the morning sky gradually as it rises four minutes earlier each day.

Jupiter at opposition in 2024

Planet Jupiter will reach opposition on Saturday, December 7, 2024, at 20:00 UTC (or 3 p.m. EST).

The closest approach of Jupiter to Earth

The closest approach of Jupiter to Earth for the year always falls on or near the date of Jupiter’s opposition. So around the date of Jupiter’s opposition, the planet appears the biggest and brightest for the year.

If the orbits of Earth and Jupiter were perfectly circular, then the closest approach of Jupiter and the opposition of Jupiter would occur at the same time.

How often does Jupiter reach opposition?

Jupiter takes about 12 Earth years to orbit the Sun once. So when our Earth makes one full revolution around the Sun, Jupiter travels 1/12 of the way around the Sun. So to create an opposition to Jupiter, our Earth would have to travel an extra 1/12 of the way in its orbit, which takes a month to travel.

That’s why planet Jupiter reaches opposition once every 13 months.

Upcoming dates of Jupiter at opposition

Here are all the upcoming dates of Jupiter at opposition, according to NASA:

DateTime (UTC)
November 3, 202304:00
December 7, 202420:00
January 10, 202608:00
February 11, 202700:00
March 12, 202815:00
April 12, 202903:00

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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