Before you catch this month's Full Pink Moon on April 11, you'll want to turn your attention to Jupiter. Tonight, the planet will appear brighter and larger than it does at any other time of the year when it comes to opposition, which means it's opposite the sun.
You'll be able to see Jupiter — the largest planet in the solar system — all night long, beginning with sundown, when it will rise in the east. After tonight, you won't get another view of Jupiter that's this incredible until May 9, 2018. According to Earth Sky, those 13 months are the length of time it takes for Earth to travel around the sun — compared to Jupiter's path.
Even though this week is the closest Jupiter will come all year, it's still plenty far away — a total 414 million miles, for those keeping count. You'll also get stunning views of Jupiter a few days later, when the full moon appears alongside the planet in the sky. You might also notice a nearby star, the bright Spica, which is part of the Virgo the Maiden constellation.
If you have a pair of binoculars, break them out this evening. Otherwise, look up on your way home from work, and then go online to Slooh.com around 6:30 p.m. — you'll be able to see how the planet looks through a telescope and catch a glimpse of the Great Red Spot.
While Jupiter's opposition and the appearance of the full moon occur early this month, there's still something to look forward to later in April. The Lyrid meteor shower will light up the sky on April 22. The best part: It might be warm enough by then that you can head outside to watch without a jacket.