Jupiter at opposition: This is the weather forecast for Lancashire as planet set to look like ‘bright star’ in sky

Planet-hunters in Lancashire will be dusting off their telescopes as Jupiter is set to be visible in the night sky this week.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 8:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 9:16 am

The mighty gas giant will appear to the naked eye as “a bright star, though it won’t twinkle like the stars” on the evening of Thursday August 19.

This is because Jupiter will be at “opposition”, meaning that, as Earth passes between the Sun and Jupiter, the planet will appear opposite the Sun.

When will be the best time to see Jupiter?

In this image provided by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team, the planet Jupiter pictured in July 23, 2009.

Jupiter should be visible low above the south-eastern horizon from sunset on the days around opposition on 19 August, but if you wait until a few hours after sunset then it will have risen higher – around 20-25 degrees altitude – and will be easier to spot.

But will you be able to see it from Lancashire?

According to the latest Met Office weather forecast, planet-spotters across Lancashire could be disappointed on Thursday as cloud cover is expected throughout the evening.

While there is only a 10% chance of rain forecast in Lancashire, cloud cover is likely to obscure the night skies across much of the county.

However, not all is lost, as forecasts for the coast and the east of the county are predicting breaks in the cloud cover during the evening, which could be just enough to catch sight of the gas giant.