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BY JUPITER: The science behind Friday's Solar System light show

Everything you need from astronomer Bob Berman

By Iain Thomson, 2 Feb 2015

Vid The Slooh Observatory is holding a one-hour event, beginning at 7pm UTC (11am PST) today, to discuss Jupiter in opposition – using telescopes at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa.

On Friday, February 6, Jupiter will be in opposition to the Earth, making it the brightest natural object in the night sky besides the moon. It's when Earth will pass between Jupiter and the Sun.

For northern-hemisphere astronomers with an interest in the planet, it's the best time to take a good look at the gas giant. It rises at dusk, tracks straight across the sky and is visible almost until dawn, giving a good long opportunity to study the strange world and its 67 moons – although not all are visible.

Astronomer Bob Berman, and Will Gater from the BBC's Sky at Night, will be on hand with commentary and information in the above live video stream.

The web broadcast has been timed for the release of Jupiter Ascending, put together by the Wachowski siblings, makers of the Matrix*. It's a science-fiction opera where a team of aliens tussle over the future of Earth type-thing – it will be released in cinemas on February 6, and El Reg will have a review of it up this weekend. ®

* There is only one Matrix film.

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