Jupiter’s view on Earth boosts astronomical tourism


Jupiter will come closer to Earth next Monday night than it has come in 60 years. The celestial event will be a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of the largest planet in the Solar System.

"A occultism, protest or eclipse is always spectacular"says Miguel Gil, manager of the Astronomical Tourism Association. "There are people who go thousands of kilometers to see the solar eclipse"point.


However, Gill insisted that interest in such astronomical almanacs "It goes on like that, they tell you whether Strawberry Moon, Blue Moon, Meteor shower… it depends on how the media wants to accommodate it, but sometimes they are not so important and we don’t pay that much attention to them",

"At times, it’s not so great for the public, maybe it makes sense to measure on a scientific level."Businessmen tell. As an example, he says that the astrological appointment that mobilizes the most masses is "The Perseid rainfall is not the most spectacular of the year, but the rest are unknown and occur in winter. There are more important events throughout the year"it shows.


Jupiter’s opposition, i.e. when the planet is aligned with the Sun and Earth, occurs every 13 months. But from Astroemporda, Francesc Pruneda specifies that "Earth is ahead of the Sun this year"While Jupiter has come closer, due to which the two planets will be between "Minimum distance in last 60 years",

"you can see well"Gives importance to Pruneda, though "always in opposition you can see well", remember that the planet looks "naked eye" –It is one of the brightest stars in the present night sky– though with powerful binoculars "we can see the moon" Jupiter


To appreciate the planet’s atmosphere and clouds, Pruneda recommends using a telescope. Even the Great Red Spot will be visible, although if it is not visible in the lens it is likely on the far side. You’ll just have to wait to see it, because in just nine hours the planet makes a full revolution of itself.

Despite the symbolism of the dates, Pruneda insists that Jupiter will be closer. "one month before and one month after", This has been confirmed by Pere Horts, president of the Figueres Astronomical Society, a consortium that has not organized activities for this weekend but will observe the planet next month.


The most outstanding destinations in Spain for astrotourism and stargazing are the Canary Islands, Andalusia, vila, Badajoz or Asturias. With the pending challenge of reducing light pollution, the Horts also highlights the natural parks on Cap de Creus, such as the Costa Brava.

In 2007, the Starlight Foundation was created to guarantee "Protection of the right to contemplate the stars and protect the night sky following UNESCO guidelines" You "One of the things it has promoted is astronomical tourism, which determines the quality label for the night sky.", And it is that although Spain is one of the European countries with darker areas and less cloudy—ideal conditions that attract international visitors—the representative of Astrofigures regrets that Spain has a completely virgin night, unlike other countries. The sky is not a field.


Light isn’t a fundamental aspect for viewing planets—Jupiter is visible from both the countryside and cities—but it is to be able to see spectacular constellation landscapes. Another privileged place in this sense is Segovia, whose provincial council is starting Astrotourism Week today.

"Sometimes tourists come from abroad, because they know what the sky is like and they come to Segovia to see it, because they know how clear it is", says Magdalena Rodriguez, deputy director of tourism for the province. The organization has spent years preaching "The only tour that builds customer loyalty, as they always have to spend the night"which acts in turn"Create jobs: they have more people who live, eat, still do activities to sleep and it is sustainable"Rodriguez outlines.


One of the topics that will be addressed at the event, which coincides with the International Moon Observation Day, is those helmed by astrophotographers as Echo Margalef. "Astrotourism is booming and so is astrophotography."Reassures Marglef, because extraordinary images can be obtained "With the help of technology, a telescope, basic equipment and a reflex camera",

really, "Several collaborators have already taken spectacular pictures of Jupiter and Saturn", "There are many of us who are waiting to be photographed next Monday"The photographer confesses, hoping the weather doesn’t cloud the magic of the sky’s extraordinary views.

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