Transit of Earth from Jupiter

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A transit of Earth across the Sun as seen from Jupiter takes place when the planet Earth passes directly between the Sun and Jupiter, obscuring a small part of the Sun's disc for an observer on Jupiter. This can only happen when Jupiter is at or near opposition, and near one of its nodes. During a transit, Earth can be seen from Jupiter as a small black disc moving across the face of the Sun.

The event is particularly interesting because both the Earth and the Moon can usually be seen together in transit. In rare cases one of them transits and the other does not, such as on December 21, 2060, when there is a grazing transit for the Moon and a near-miss for the Earth. In other cases, the two may be so close together that they are hard to tell apart, such as on June 24, 2055, when the Earth and Moon are less than 20" apart as seen from Jupiter.

Naturally, no one has ever seen a transit of Earth from Jupiter, nor is this likely to happen in the foreseeable future. The last one took place on July 9, 2008;[1] the next will occur on January 5, 2014.

A transit could be observed from the surface of one of Jupiter's moons rather than from Jupiter itself. The times and circumstances of the transits would naturally be slightly different.

The Earth–Jupiter synodic period is 398.883 days. It can be calculated using the formula 1/(1/P-1/Q), where P is the sidereal orbital period of Earth (365.25636 days, not the same as a tropical year) and Q is the orbital period of Jupiter (4332.71 days).

The transits belong to series of four or five transits separated by 12 years. The transits also belong to 83-year series; consecutive ones are almost identical. Eight series are active and have 24 to 28 members.

Transits of Earth
July 9, 2008[1]
January 5, 2014
January 10, 2026
June 24, 2055
June 29, 2067
December 26, 2072
July 4, 2079
December 31, 2084
July 9, 2091
January 4, 2097
January 10, 2109


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Transit of the Sun by Earth from the center of Jupiter". JPL Solar System Simulator. 2008-Jul-09 07:54 UT (SOT=0.03). Retrieved 2008-06-09.  (end of transit)

External links[edit]