How can you see Jupiter?

Short answer: You can see it either with your own eyes, with binoculars or a telescope. The easiest way to find it is to use an astronomy app.

Long answer: Jupiter isn't always visible but when it is, it's very bright and quite easy to find as long as you know approximately when and where to look. You can learn when and where to find Jupiter by using any kind of star map. Static star maps are usually printed or presented as a still image online but they are difficult to use. It's much easier to download a star guide app and search for Jupiter.

Jupiter is typically visible for about 10 months per year but this varies. See our chart of upcoming viewing times.

Jupiter is usually the second brightest object in the night sky (after the Moon). Sometimes Venus is brighter.

With the naked eye Jupiter looks like a bright star. You can't see its moons.

With powerful binoculars or a small telescope you can just make out Jupiter as a disk, and you should be able to see its four brightest moons.

With a powerful backyard telescope you can see the weather bands around Jupiter and if you're lucky you may be able to see the Great Red Spot.

See also: