Jupiter will make its closest approach to earth in the last 59 years tonight and Scottish stargazers are in for a treat.

NASA has predicted impressive views of the solar system's largest and oldest planet as it reaches opposition on Monday, September 26.

The gas giant will rise in the east as the sun sets in the west which will put them on opposite sides of Earth.

Here's everything you need to know about Jupiter in opposition and the Met Office forecast so you can see your chances of seeing the spectacle.

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Stargazers will be able to view Jupiter at its best as it reaches its closest point to the Earth since 1963 on Monday night.

Jupiter's opposition does occur every 13 months but the orbit of planets are not perfect circles. 

Planets can pass each other at different distances and this opposition will bring Jupiter to its closest distance to the Earth in almost six decades.

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The fifth planet from the sun will be just 367 million miles away which might still sound like a fair distance.

However, its distance from the Earth can range to a staggering 600 million miles away at its furthest.

Dunfermline Press: PA GraphicsPA Graphics (Image: PA Graphics)

How to see Jupiter in Opposition as it makes closest approach to Earth in 59 years

NASA experts have suggested that the key to seeing the celestial spectacle is to pick a stargazing spot that is high, dark and dry.

You should then look towards the eastern horizon around sunset and you should be able to see it with the naked eye.

Jupiter, aside from the moon, should be the brightest object in the sky.

Research astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Adam Kobelski, said: “With good binoculars, the banding (at least the central band) and three or four of the Galilean satellites (moons) should be visible.

“It’s important to remember that Galileo observed these moons with 17th century optics. One of the key needs will be a stable mount for whatever system you use.”

Kobelski also recommends a larger telescope to see Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and bands in more detail.

He adds that a four inch-or-larger telescope with some filters in the green to the blue range will enhance the visibility of these features.

Met Office Scotland weather forecast for Jupiter Opposition


The best time to see Jupiter in opposition is looking towards the eastern horizon around sunset.

The national weather service says that the sunset will set in Edinburgh at 7.02 pm.

Stargazers in the capital can expect very good visibility and a low chance of rain.

For the full and hour-by-hour forecasts where you are, visit the Met Office website.