Early Prime Day Deals Roe v. Wade Overturned Surface Laptop Go 2 Review 4th of July Sales M2 MacBook Pro Deals Healthy Meal Delivery Best TVs for Every Budget Noise-Canceling Earbuds Dip to $100

Catch a 'full Jupiter' this week and spot its moons with just binoculars

Say hello to Io and its moon buddies.

OK, so Jupiter won't be this close, but this week is the perfect time to gaze at it.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Image processing by Kevin M. Gill

Break out the binoculars, grab a small telescope or just look up. Jupiter, the solar system's scenically stormy gas giant, will be particularly bright and beautiful this week, making this a perfect time to look for its largest moons.

Jupiter reaches opposition on Tuesday morning, meaning the planet will be located opposite of the sun with Earth in between, like a cosmic sandwich. 

"Jupiter will be at its closest and brightest for this apparition, effectively a 'full Jupiter,' rising around sunset and setting around sunrise," said NASA in its July skywatching update.

With clear skies and a good set of binoculars or a small telescope, you can look for Jupiter's four biggest moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. NASA recommends observing the moons over time by checking them nightly or waiting a few hours between viewing sessions to catch their orbital movements around the planet. This is the perfect week to try this out. 

While you're moon-gazing, take a moment to contemplate Europa in particular. NASA is planning its Europa Clipper mission to visit the fascinating moon, which may be our best bet for finding signs of alien life on another world in our solar system.

If you want an even closer look at Jupiter and its wild and swirly atmosphere, then be sure to check out images from NASA's ongoing Juno mission. Whether you're seeing a "dolphin" in the planet's clouds or viewing it from afar, Jupiter is a beauty.