Where to see Jupiter at Cannock Chase tonight as the largest planet in the solar system approaches

This image made available by NASA and made from data captured by the Juno spacecraft shows Jupiter’s south pole. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles via AP

The largest planet in our solar system will be less than 367 million kilometers from Earth, its closest point in almost sixty years, today, giving amateur astronomers a great opportunity to see the gas giant if the sky is clear.

At its farthest point, Jupiter is almost twice as far from our planet.

Jupiter is today “in opposition”, that is to say that it is placed on one side of the Earth with the sun on the opposite side. Looking from Earth, when the sun sets in the west, Jupiter will rise in the east, directly opposite.

Staffordshire is home to one of the region’s premier stargazing destinations in the Cannock Chase Area of ​​Natural Beauty (AONB). The enthusiast website Go Stargazing has identified seven top quality stargazing sites within the AONB.

They have all been identified as “good places for stargazing based on local light pollution levels, distance from nearby towns and provide a safe place to park”.

Go Stargazing said the best time to view the sky tonight would be between 7:15 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Go Stargazing said: “Experience the dark skies above Cannock Chase AONB from this excellent stargazing vantage point. Although there are a few trees nearby, excellent views are available in all directions from a few steps.”

“Camp Field Car Park is an excellent spot for stargazing in Cannock Chase AONB. It is well hidden from the road and has excellent views of the dark skies above and towards the northern and western horizons.”

“This excellent stargazing destination in Cannock Chase AONB offers excellent scenic views with surrounding trees providing protection from local light pollution at horizon level.”

“Penkridge Bank car park is an easily accessible location in the heart of Cannock Chase AONB. It is a fantastic place for stargazing, with excellent views in all directions, especially above where the stars come out on moonless nights.”

“Explore the dark skies of the heart of Cannock Chase AONB from this spacious car park. Excellent views are to be had all around, especially directly above, although some local properties may have lens flare.”

“The Stile Cop parking lot offers mountain bikers access to nearby trails during the day and is a great place to admire the dark starry sky at night. The parking lot is surrounded by trees, which affects the view of the skylines; however, the trees also block out light pollution, leaving excellent views of the sky above Cannock Chase AONB.”

“The Seven Springs car park is located in Cannock Chase AONB and is an ideal location to escape the local light pollution. The trees surrounding the car park block direct light from nearby Little Haywood, providing excellent views of the dark skies above. above.”

Arline J. Mercier