Planet Jupiter will come close to the Earth on Monday. It will appear to rise at sunset and set at sunrise.

As it will be fully illuminated by the Sun, it is an advantageous time to observe the planet.

According to P. Iyamperumal, executive director, B.M. Birla Planetarium, the planet will be in opposition to the sun.

“We normally call planets which orbit the sun beyond the Earth’s orbit as superior planets and Jupiter is one of those. A superior planet may make an angle up to 180 degrees with the sun as viewed from the Earth. When this happens, the planet is said to be in opposition when viewed from the Earth. That is, the sun, Earth and the planet will be in a straight line,” he said.

Earth-based telescopes can record Jupiter best when it is at opposition. One can view the moons of Jupiter and also its equatorial band structure. The planet will be seen as a bright object from an open space in the eastern direction after sunset.

Throughout the month, Jupiter will appear big and bright as on the day of opposition, Mr. Iyamperumal said.

The B.M. Birla Planetarium is making arrangements for the public to view the event at Periyar Science and Technology Centre Campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road, between 6.30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Monday.

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