March 8 will bring us what is called “Jupiter at Opposition.” This means the giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. Jupiter will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. It will be seen on the eastern horizon after sunset under the constellation Leo, the lion.
This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons.
A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars will allow you to see Jupiter’s four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet. These are known as the Gaillelian moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
Although these are the largest four moons of Jupiter, the great red planet has a total of 67 known moons.
Keep your eye on the sky this March 8 for “Jupiter at Opposition.”
View the video below for a detailed look at what you can see tonight in your Baton Rouge sky: