The largest planet in the solar system makes its closest approach of the year to Earth on Saturday April 8. Behemoth Jupiter will appear as a bright star, but details should be visible with a good set of binoculars or a telescope -- weather permitting.
It's a great opportunity for sky-gazers to see the gas-giant, which is named after the king of the Roman gods. As you'd expect from something with a diameter of about 88,846 miles, there's a lot to wrap your head around. By comparison, Earth is a relatively tiny 7,900 miles in diameter. Put another way, if Earth is the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be a basketball.
NASA scientists have referred to Jupiter as the biggest and baddest planet in the solar system. Not only is it the largest planet, Jupiter also wields a lot of clout. It's capable of influencing the trajectories of comets and unleashing devastating blasts of radiation, a major hurdle for spacecraft and satellites sent to study the planet.
It is surrounded by more than 50 moons, the four largest of which were discovered by celebrated astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610 -- Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Io.
Check out the images of Jupiter below from NASA to see the planet's Great Red Spot, which is actually a storm that's larger than Earth, and its stripes and swirls in detail. It should be visible from sundown to sunrise this weekend. Jupiter will appear to rise in the east around sunset, climbing to a high-point around midnight.