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Celestial Alert: Jupiter at Opposition

Jupiter, photographed by astronomer Joe Llama.

October 25, 2023



[OCTOBER 25, 2023] On November 2, Jupiter will be in opposition, meaning it will be at its biggest and brightest of the year. Lowell Observatory invites guests to admire the “King of Planets,” the largest planet in our solar system, through its suite of state-of-the-art public viewing telescopes. The exact moment of opposition will occur at 10pm MST on the evening of November 2, 2023, and Jupiter will remain a spectacular sight in the night sky until mid December. Guests can see Jupiter’s storms and moons up close at Lowell Observatory: Buy tickets at

What Is Opposition?
“Opposition occurs when the Sun, Earth and planet lie along a straight line with the Earth in the middle,” explains Lowell Observatory astronomer Dr. Larry Wasserman, “thus putting the Sun and planet on opposite sides of the Earth, hence the term ‘opposition’. This means that the planet is as close to the Earth as possible and will appear as big and as bright as it can ever get. This is a great time to take a look and discover Jupiter in opposition for yourself.”

“During Jupiter’s opposition, Earth will pass between Jupiter and the Sun, and the proximity will make Jupiter appear larger in the sky. On the day of opposition, Jupiter rises when the Sun sets.”

One Astronomical Unit, abbreviated as AU, is the average distance between the Sun and the Earth. In early November, Jupiter will be about four times as far away from Earth as the Sun at 3.98 AU.

Member-Exclusive Event
On Thursday, November 2 at 8pm, Lowell Observatory will hold a special event for Members to celebrate the Jupiter opposition. Read more about the “Jupiter Jubilee” member-exclusive event here. To become a member or if you have any questions about the “Jupiter Jubilee” event, email

Telescope viewing of Jupiter at its biggest and brightest.

Opposition is November 2, 2023. Viewing will be best until mid-December. Come to Lowell to see the opposition Wednesdays – Sundays from sunset to 10pm.

Lowell Observatory
1400 W Mars Hill Rd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Press Contact
Kevin Schindler
Public Information Officer & Historian, Lowell Observatory

About Lowell Observatory
Lowell Observatory is a leading astronomical research institution, National Historical Landmark, and one of the most popular nighttime tourist destinations in Arizona. A staff of astronomers and planetary scientists work to reveal our universe with unparalleled academic freedom and access to advanced instrumentation, including the observatory’s own 4.3-meter Lowell Discovery Telescope, which is the 5th-largest optical telescope in the continental United States.

Lowell Observatory’s state-of-the-art public telescopes provide incredible views of the cosmos. General Admission includes constellation tours, historical exhibits, and access to the Giovale Open Deck Observatory.

Established in 1894, Lowell Observatory boasts a long history of astronomical research and discovery, including VM Slipher’s revolutionary recessional velocity measurements and Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto. Lowell’s exhibits highlight observatory founder Percival Lowell; Pluto’s discovery; current astronomical research; and more. Explore the observatory’s beautiful scenic grounds atop Mars Hill, which overlooks historic downtown Flagstaff, and see why the community is recognized as the world’s first International Dark Sky City.