On 10 May 2018 Jupiter reaches its closest point to Earth for this year. At just 658 million kilometres away (36 light-minutes away) the biggest planet in our solar system shines so bright that it really is an unmissable target. As darkness falls on any clear evening in May look low to your SE to find Jupiter as a bright star-like object with a steady white light. As the hours pass Jupiter rises higher into the sky, becoming a conspicuous bright object due south at between midnight and 1am. By dawn Jupiter is found low to the SW.
Jupiter Finder Chart for May 2018
Jupiter in a telescope is a spectacular sight. Look out for the dark bands crossing the planet’s disc, and Jupiter’s four bright moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Occasionally shadows from the moons move across the face of Jupiter, appearing as tiny dark spots. Best times to see these shadow transits from the UK are listed below. All times are BST (GMT +1 hour).
BEST JUPITER SHADOW TRANSITS FOR MAY 2018
Wed 2nd May – Io – from dusk to 10:40pm
Sat 5th May – Europa – from 11:03pm to 1:18am
Sun 6th May – ...