A Huge, Super Bright Jupiter Reaches Opposition This Month

Alejandro Sanchez de Miguel, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA
Alejandro Sanchez de Miguel, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, and the largest one that's visible from Earth with the naked eye. The gas giant will be even easier to spot on July 13 and 14—that's when Jupiter reaches opposition, making it appear extra bright in the night sky.

What Is Jupiter at opposition?

Once a year, the Earth comes between Jupiter and the sun. During this time, Jupiter is at opposition to the sun, which means that from our planet, Jupiter appears to rise in the east as the sun sets in the west. On the night of July 13 and early morning of July 14, 2020, the sun will be in the perfect position to fully illuminate Jupiter's gaseous surface.

The planet reached the closest point to Earth in its orbit less than a month ago on June 15, which means Jupiter looks especially large in the sky this month. That, combined with its exceptional brightness, makes the opposition of Jupiter the best time of year to see the planet from wherever you are.

When to See Jupiter at Opposition

To see Jupiter at its brightest, wait until the sun has completely set and the sky is dark on the night of Saturday, July 13. The moment of opposition occurs at 4 a.m. ET on July 14, but the planet will be brighter than usual in the hours—and even days—surrounding the event.

After rising in the east, Jupiter will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight and eventually disappear in the western sky. Look for it next to Saturn and in front of the constellation Sagittarius.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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Uranus Reaches Opposition on Halloween in 2020

Christine Schmitt, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Christine Schmitt, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Uranus is roughly 1.75 billion miles away from Earth, which makes it difficult to spot without a telescope most nights. But on Saturday, October 31, the seventh planet from the sun will be worth looking for. Uranus reaches opposition that night, making it appear extra bright in the night sky.

What Is Uranus at Opposition?

An opposition occurs when the Earth falls perfectly between another planet and the sun. When this happens, the sun's light appears to fully illuminate the planet's surface, boosting its brightness level to the maximum.

Uranus reaches opposition on October 31 in 2020. During this event, Uranus will hit a limiting magnitude of 5.86, which is about the minimum brightness for what's visible with the naked eye.

How to Look for Uranus at Opposition

Spotting Uranus at opposition will be slightly more difficult in 2020 than in years past. The phenomenon coincides with a full moon that will make dimmer stars and planets—including Uranus—harder to see in the night sky. The planet sits in the constellation Aries, which regrettably appears close to the moon for most of the night.

Uranus should appear as a small, blue-green disc when using a telescope. Even if you have trouble spotting the seventh planet, it will still be worth checking out the night sky on October 31: Halloween this year coincides with a rare blue moon.