No Opposition for Jupiter in 2013
Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:17 AM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:14 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:27 PM
I was looking at some tables for opposition times of Jupiter and Saturn from 2000 to 2020 when I noticed that there will be no opposition for Jupiter in 2013. How often does this quirk of celestial mechanics happen?
The mean synodic period for Jupiter is about 13.1 months, i.e. the time it takes for Earth to lap Jupiter in their race around the Sun. Therefore about every 12 years a December opposition is followed by a January opposition, meaning a calendar year gets skipped. In the case of Mars this “quirk” occurs more regularly as its mean synodic period is about 25.6 months. Therefore alternate calendar years are skipped and occasionally two of them.
Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:16 AM
every 780 days for Mars
every 399 days for Jupiter
every 378 days for Saturn
every 369 days for Uranus
every 367 days for Neptune