Jupiter reaches opposition, meaning it’s directly opposite the Sun and therefore rises at sunset, is due south at midnight and is visible throughout the entire night. This same day it is at perigee (closest to the Earth) and is also at its brightest, making February 6th the best day in 2015 to observe our solar system’s largest planet.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images Courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
07:10 UT – Jupiter at perigee: Distance to Earth: 4.346 AU (Magnitude -2.6, diameter 45.3”. Cancer, visible all night.)
15:10 UT – Jupiter reaches maximum brightness. Magnitude: -2.6 (Diameter 45.3”. Cancer, visible all night.)
18:20 UT – Jupiter is at opposition (Magnitude -2.6, diameter 45.3”. Cancer, visible all night.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are easily visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
Learn more about every upcoming astronomical event in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Paperback Edition).
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.