By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – If you’re a stargazer then you know that June is a great month for catching a glimpse of Jupiter at its biggest and brightest point in the night sky. The planet rises at dusk and can be seen all night with the naked eye for the entire month.

Jupiter NASA

This striking view of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed a close pass of the gas giant planet on Feb. 12, 2019. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)

But according to NASA, June 10 (Monday) is the absolute best night to see our solar system’s largest planet because it will reach opposition, an annual occurrence when Jupiter, Earth and the Sun are arranged in a straight line with Earth in the middle. It’s also around the time when Jupiter is closest to Earth.

This image capture swirling cloud belts and tumultuous vortices within Jupiter’s northern hemisphere on May 23, 2018. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran)

If you get a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope you can also see up to four of Jupiter’s largest moons and potentially even some of the banded clouds that surround the planet.

The forecast for Monday night looks pretty clear across most of Colorado. There will be some passing clouds that linger from daytime convection, especially over the southern mountains, but they should quickly fade once we reach sunset. If it happens to be cloudy where you are then try again the next night.

Chris Spears