The giant planet Jupiter is that really bright “star” that appears in our eastern
sky following its conjunction behind the Sun on 2013 JUN 19. It attained western
quadrature (90° from Sun) on OCT 12. It commenced apparent retrograde motion on NOV
07. Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth for this synodic cycle at 4.2105 AU will
occur on 2014 JAN 04 when its equatorial diameter will subtend 46.8 arcsceconds.
Opposition from the Sun will happen on JAN 05 when Jupiter will be well north of
the celestial equator at declination +22.7° and will be at its greatest brilliance
at magnitude -2.7. As viewed from Earth the tilt of Jupiter’s equatorial plane at
opposition will appear to be +1.6°. The orbital planes of the four Galilean satellites
are nearly coincident with it. Jupiter will resume apparent direct motion on MAR
06 and will reach eastern quadrature on APR 01. Conjunction behind the Sun will be
achieved on JUL 24.
Jupiter will appear to pass near Pollux on 2014 JUN 16. The Moon will appear to
pass near Jupiter on 2013 DEC 19, 2014 JAN 15, FEB 11, MAR 10, APR 06, MAY 4, JUN
01 & JUN 29.
NOTE: Events in this article are geocentric in Universal Time unless otherwise noted.
* A meridian transit occurs when a celestial body crosses an observer’s local north-south
line in the sky. That is practically simultaneous with culmination, i.e. the highest
altitude for the day. The Jupiter meridian transit times in the above linked graph
can be easily transformed for your location. The given times are nearly the same
for the central meridians of all time zones, i.e. those evenly divisible by 15° such
as 75°, 90°, 105° or 120°. Do not adjust to UT. Simply add to the chart time 4 minutes
for each degree west of a central meridian, or subtract 4 minutes for each degree
to the east. If on daylight savings time, add an hour.