Jupiter Closest to Earth Tonight, With Uranus Just Behind
Gas giant planet will be nearest to us since 1951.
Jupiter will officially be nearest to our planet—368 million miles (592 million kilometers) away—when it reaches opposition, the term for when the sun, Earth, and a given planet are lined up in a row.
"Oppositions of the Earth and Jupiter occur roughly every 400 days, due to Earth catching up to Jupiter and lapping it in its race around the sun," said Raminder Singh Samra, resident astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.
"But because the orbits of the planets are slightly elliptical, the distances between oppositions vary, and so the next time [Earth and Jupiter] are this close won't be until 2022."
For the rest of September, Jupiter will be the brightest