How you can see Jupiter’s closest approach in London - Met Office weather forecast for tonight’s spectacle

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Jupiter will be at its closest point to Earth since 1963. Here’s how you can view it in London.

Astronomers and star gazers in London are in for a treat this evening, as Jupiter will come within its closest proximity to Earth for nearly 60 years.

The Great Red Spot will “reach opposition” on Monday (September 26); when Jupiter rises in the east, the sun sets in the west and places them at opposite sides of Earth.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The giant ball of gas will come within 590 million kilometres of Earth, a rare occurrence in the world of astronomy.

"Jupiter is so bright and brilliant that a really nice thing about it is even in a city, in the middle of a bright city, you can see it," says Alphonse Sterling, a NASA astrophysicist at the Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.

"So I would say that it’s a good thing to take advantage of and to look at no matter where you’re at."

Here’s how to see Jupiter’s close encounter with Earth this evening in London.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

How to see Jupiter’s close approach in London?

Jupiter will be at its closest point to Earth for nearly 60 yearsJupiter will be at its closest point to Earth for nearly 60 years
Jupiter will be at its closest point to Earth for nearly 60 years | Byron Moore -

According to NASA, the best spot for getting a good view of the phenomenon is somewhere high, dark and dry.

Once you’ve made it to your ideal location, look to the eastern horizon around sunset and you should be able to see the planet with the naked eye - aside from the moon, Jupiter is likely to be the brightest object in the sky.

Research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre, Adam Kobelski, said: “With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible.

“It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What is the Met Office weather forecast for this week in London?

Monday is the best day to view the oldest planet’s approach, however, stargazers should still get a good view of Jupiter throughout the rest of the week.

The Met Office has advised this evening in London that “Showers are largely dying out during the evening, although some may continue to feed into the northwest of the region. Feeling cold under clear spells overnight with winds easing.”

Tuesday will see London have a “bright but breezy with a mix of sunny spells and scattered showers. Showers could merge into longer spells of rain with some heavier bursts, especially further east.”

For the rest of the week, London can expect a “bright and chilly Wednesday with a few showers. Cloudier Thursday with some showers, perhaps locally heavy and thundery. Early fog Friday, then fine, before cloud and rain push eastwards later.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.