Stargazers across Ayrshire are in for a treat as Jupiter makes its closest approach to Earth in 59 years, according to Nasa. 

The Solar System’s largest and oldest planet will reach its opposition tonight (September 26) and provide stunning views as the gas giant rises in the east. 

To ensure a great front row seat to this astronomical spectacular, here’s everything you need to know about Jupiter in opposition – including the Met Office weather forecast. 

Celestial events to look forward to this year 

While Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, this will be its closest point to Earth since 1963 and place the giant just 367 million miles away. 

While this might seem like a huge distance, Jupiter can be as far as 600 million miles away at its furthest. 

How to see Jupiter in Opposition as it makes closest approach to Earth in almost six decades. 

NASA scientists have said that the key to seeing the opposition is to pick a stargazing spot that is dark and dry. 

Jupiter will rise in the east as the Sun sets in the west and be visible to the naked eye, becoming the brightest object in the sky (excluding the Moon). 

Met Office weather forecast for North, South and East Ayrshire  

  • Ayr and the wider South Ayrshire area will have mostly cloudy skies at sunset (7:08pm) and throughout the rest of the night, limiting visibility of the opposition. 
  • Areas in North Ayrshire like Irvine and Largs will experience clear skies by sunset until around 9pm when conditions become cloudier. 
  • Cumnock and Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire will also have clear conditions, making views of the celestial event visible. 

Details on the planet's surface will be visible using a good pair of binoculers while a large telescope will be needed to see Jupiter's large Red Spot.