On December 3 (UT), Jupiter,
solar system's largest planet, will be at opposition,
opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky,
shining brightly and rising as the Sun sets.
configuration results in Jupiter's almost annual
closest approach to planet Earth.
So, near opposition the gas giant offers earthbound telescopes
stunning views of its stormy, banded atmosphere and large
For example, this sharp series was recorded on the night of November
16/17 from the island of Sardinia near Dolianova, Italy.
North is up in the images that show off Jupiter's
famous Great Red Spot, and planet girdling
dark belts and light zones.
Also seen in transit is Jupiter's
volcanic moon Io, its
round, dark shadow tracking across the
Jovian cloud tops
as the sequence progresses left to right.