Jupiter is set to mesmerize stargazers across the UK tonight as it reaches its closest point to Earth. 

The giant planet will be at ‘opposition’ tonight, meaning it will be at its closest point to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. 

It will be brighter than at any other point in the year throughout the evening tonight, Thursday, August 19.

Avid stargazers and photographers will be in for a treat with mostly clear skies predicted throughout the night making it a good chance to catch a sight of Jupiter.

A medium-sized telescope is expected to be enough to enable you to view some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands.A pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter’s four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet. 

Jupiter is the fifth planet from our Sun and is by far the largest in our solar system - more than twice that of all other planets combined.

It is made predominantly of hydrogen and helium - at this depth in the atmosphere hydrogen compresses into a liquid, giving Jupiter the largest ocean in the solar system, made of hydrogen rather than water. 

The enormous planet is only in opposition once a year, the next time it will be this visible will be in August 2022.