You can see Jupiter’s moons with your binoculars today

Getty Images

Getty Images

If you want to see a little more detail, however, a simple pair of binoculars will be enough to see several of its moons on either side of the planet.

This places Jupiter directly opposite the sun, situated a mere 400,000,000 miles (641,000,000km) from Earth - and means Jupiter will be at its brightest over the next two nights. If you own a telescope, you may also be able to make out individual cloud bands and Jupiter's characteristic Great Red Spot.

Pierre Schierle, who serves as the president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Regina Centre, said if people happen to forget checking the sky for the gas giant this week, they will still be able to find it throughout the next couple months.

Espey expects "it will be fairly low in the sky, but should be visible from any decent pair of binoculars".

And if you can get to a dark-sky location, away from light pollution, even better. Eastern time, Sky & Telescope's Bob King writes that the planet will reach ideal viewing height around 11:30 p.m. and will remain visible through sunrise, or roughly 7 a.m. Even when it is low down, it will look pretty steady, and that will make it stand out.

Resnick suggests using a smartphone app like Sky Guide to track Jupiter's progress across the night sky and pinpoint the best time to take out your binoculars.

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If you don't have time to search the skies tonight, don't worry too much.

Jupiter will be at its biggest and brightest in our sky this week, giving those on Earth our best chance of the year to see the gas giant and four of its moons.

Between June 14 and 19, Jupiter will be at the center of another celestial event. "These differing orbital periods allow us to go between the Sun and Jupiter yearly (approximately every 13 months), making it appear, from Earth, that Jupiter is opposite to the Sun", explains The Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern.

The Juno probe reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016, after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile (2.8bn km) journey from Earth.

Though 640 million kms may not qualify as most Earthling's definition of close, our planet's average distance to the monstrous planet is more than a hundred million kms more, at 786,884,800 kms.

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