Jupiter in opposition: Here’s when and where to spot it in Glasgow

Stargazers and astronomy buffs will want to look to the heavens this week, as Jupiter is set to put on a dazzling show in the night sky.

<p>‘If your telescope is really good, perhaps you’ll even make out the swirling clouds of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere’ (Photo: JPL/NASA/Getty Images</p>

‘If your telescope is really good, perhaps you’ll even make out the swirling clouds of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere’ (Photo: JPL/NASA/Getty Images

The mighty gas giant planet will appear to the naked eye as “a bright star, though it won’t twinkle like the stars”, because it will be at “opposition”.

What does ‘opposition’ mean?

Opposition - when applied to celestial bodies like planets, means that as Earth passes between the Sun and Jupiter, the planet will appear opposite the Sun.

When can I see it in Glasgow?

Jupiter will be at its brightest on the evening of Thursday 19 August, and the planet’s opposition takes place just days before the full moon on 22 August.

Bryony Lanigan, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: “While the sky will not be fully dark, the Moon will not be intruding too much on astrophotographers’ views.”

Jupiter should be visible low above the south-eastern horizon from sunset on the days around opposition on 19 August, but if you wait until a few hours after sunset then it will have risen higher – around 20-25 degrees altitude – and will be easier to spot.

Glasgow’s sunset for Thursday 19 August is 8.45pm and there looks to be a light cloud cover according to the weather report from the Met Office.