Visualization depicting Jupiter opposition occurring on Apri 7 2017
On April 7, 2017, Jupiter and the sun will be positioned on opposite sides of the Earth in what is known as a "Jupiter opposition." Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth for the year always falls on or near this Jupiter's opposition date. In 2017, Jupiter comes closest to Earth one day after its opposition date, on April 8, coming to within 414 million miles (666 million kilometers) of Earth. If Jupiter and Earth had perfectly circular orbits, closest approach would occur at the same time as opposition. However, since Jupiter and Earth both have elliptical orbits, the closest approach is not aligned with opposition, and varies from year to year.