The Earth's moon and the planet Jupiter will appear separated by only a few degrees in the night sky on Monday during a celestial conjunction.
A waxing gibbous moon, which will be 78-percent illuminated, will pass within less than a degree to the south of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.
The close proximity of the two celestial orbs is a sight that will not be seen for a while. This year's conjunction of the moon and Jupiter appearing close to each other will not happen again until the year 2026, according to EarthSky.org.
The spectacular event will be visible for most people in North America and even those who reside in very bright cities that usually block out dimmer star shows. The best times to see the closest point of tonight's conjunction are around 7 p.m. in the Pacific Time zone, 8:30 p.m. Mountain, 10 p.m. Central, and 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
The conjunction will make it appear that the Moon and Jupiter are close together, but they actually separated by a lot of space.
The mean distance of the moon is about 239,000 miles, while the mean distance for Jupiter from the Sun is about 483.8 million miles, according to The Washington Post.
The conjunction is not the only thing to watch for, as people with small telescopes will have several stargazing opportunities of Jupiter during tonight's show.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a colossal storm bigger than the Earth, can be visible in amateur telescopes from 9 p.m. to 10:40 p.m. ET, According to Sky & Telescope Magazine. Jupiter's icy moon Europa will also cross in front of the planet between 8:13 p.m. and 10:37 p.m. ET. The best time for amateur astronomers to try and spot Europa's shadow on Jupiter via telescope will be between 10:22 p.m. and 12:46 a.m. ET.
For viewers with cloudy skies, a live stream of the Moon-Jupiter conjunction will begin at 9 p.m. ET, provided by the Slooh Space Camera on Space.com.