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Jupiter and its moons to put on dazzling show in June

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Jupiter will be at its biggest and brightest this month, with its four largest moons visible to some skygazers.

The solar system's biggest planet will rise at dusk and remain visible all night during June.

Jupiter can be identified fairly easily because it does not twinkle, but provides a steady light.

NASA calls it "a brilliant jewel to the naked eye [which] looks fantastic through binoculars or a small telescope".

Image: Jupiter and several of its moons above the mountains of Utah. Pic: NASA/Bill Dunford

With a little assistance, people should be able to see its four largest moons and potentially glimpse the banded clouds which encircle the gas giant.

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Jupiter reaches something called opposition on 10 June, the yearly occurrence when Jupiter, Earth and the sun are arranged in a straight line, with Earth in the middle.

"It's the best time of the year to see Jupiter, as the planet is visible in the sky all night, and it's around the time when Jupiter is closest to Earth," said NASA.

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"Although opposition takes place on a specific date, the entire month or so around opposition is an equally good time to observe the planet and its four largest moons."

Around the middle of the month, from 14-19 June, the moon will also align with Jupiter and Saturn.

As the moon moves around the Earth this alignment can be observed changing, something viewers will be able to see if they watch the sky night to night.

"Imagine a line passing through Jupiter and Saturn. This more or less represents the plane in which Earth and the other planets orbit the sun," said NASA.

"Think of it as a big disk, and you're looking out to the edge of the disk from within it," added the space agenRead More – Source

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