Scores of enthusiastic children, youth and adults queued up at the Anna Science Centre Planetarium to catch a closer glimpse of the celestial phenomenon, ‘Jupiter Opposition,' here on Friday.

Though the sky remained overcast for most part of the day, the clouds gave way in time to enable the visitors to have a clear view of the planet, which appeared bright on the Eastern sky.

The planetarium had arranged for a sky observation programme with the public being provided an opportunity to view Jupiter through two telescopes.

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, comes opposite to the Sun once in 398.9 days due to the movements of the Earth and the planet around the Sun.

This, termed ‘opposition of Jupiter,' is an advantageous time to observe the planet.

It is in this configuration that planet makes its closest approach to the Earth; it is fully illuminated by the Sun and as a result appear the largest and brightest. Such an opposition took place on Friday.

During the opposition, the apparent angular size of Jupiter grows to 48.56 arc-seconds (one arc second is 1/3600{+t}{+h} of a degree) as the distance between the Earth and the planet (Jupiter) reduces to 59.3 crore kilometre. The distance between the Earth and Jupiter will be about 93 crore km, at its most distant point.

Earth based telescopes can record Jupiter best when the planet is at opposition, according to R.Akilan, Planetarium Engineer, Anna Science Centre, who supervised the arrangements. The next Opposition of Jupiter will occur on December 3, 2012. Last year, the event occurred on September 21, 2010.

The sky observation programme would be held at the Planetarium on Saturday also, between 6.30 and 8.30 p.m.