The planet is closest to Earth throughout June
13 June 2019| Last updated on 13 June 2019
Stargazers, are you ready? There are a few treats in the night sky for you this June...
June has arrived, signalling the official start of summer for the Northern Hemisphere, and while this might mean shorter nights - there's still plenty to see after the sun sets.
First and foremost, this month is the best time of the year to see Jupiter from the UAE.
If you don't own a binocular or don't have access to a strong telescope, don't worry as you're in luck! UAE residents will actually be able to see the largest planet in the solar system with the naked eye until the end of June.
An easy view of Jupiter began around June 10, as Jupiter moved to be at the opposite side of the Earth as the sun. In fact, the planet is currently at its closest to Earth, with a distance of around 640,862,318 kilometres, Nazar Hezam Salam, member of Arab astronomer and space science told Gulf News.
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This is what astronomers call opposition and the result is that Jupiter appears to be brighter than any time of the year. Normally, the average distance between Earth and Jupiter is 786,884,800 kilometres.
For stargazers, the planet is easy to spot in the night sky above the UAE, as it will outshine every other planet and star. June 16 and June 17 are also great nights to look into the stars, as Jupiter will be sitting right next to the full moon
If you do happen to have access to a telescope or binoculars, you'll be able to see the planet's four largest moons, and perhaps even its famous red bands of clouds and the great red spot.
Where to look for Jupiter in the UAE's skies
All you have to do is look east - the planet rises in the east at dusk, and stargazers should find it easy enough as it will be the brightest spot (that doesn't twinkle) in the sky.
What else is happening this June?
The summer solstice occurs on June 21, as the sun will shine for the longest day of the year for those north of the equator, marking the official beginning of summer. For the southern hemisphere, it will mark the start to winter.
Did you know? If you look at your shadow on the summer solstice at noon, you will see your shortest shadow of the year.
Finally, those eager to see the Milky Way should look in the coming weeks as summertime is the best time to spot it.
It's the galaxy that our own planet belongs to, and onlookers only need to head to an area far away from the city lights for a chance to witness the incredible sight of the Milky Way. Experts suggest allowing yourself 15 to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark to help get the best view.