The largest planet in the solar system , Jupiter itself, will take center stage in the night sky and appears brighter than any other point in 2021 a telescope.
Stargazers that spent time outside last week to watch the Perseid meteor shower likely saw Jupiter as it was the brightest object in the sky after the moon set during the first part of the night.
This week, Jupiter will appear slightly brighter as it reaches opposition, an astronomical term meaning that Jupiter will appear directly opposite of the sun from the perspective of the Earth. As this is also around the time when the two planets are at their closest, it is the best time of the year to observe the planet anyway.
Jupiter will officially reach opposition Thursday, Aug. 19, but it is not just a one-night event.
The planet will remain vibrant in the sky throughout the rest of August, so if cloudy conditions prevail Thursday night, onlookers can step outside over the weekend or any time in the next few weeks for a splendid view of Jupiter.
Jupiter will be easy to spot throughout the entire night with it rising in the southeast shortly after sunset, slowly tracking across the southern sky as the night transpires and eventually setting in the southwest by sunrise.