The distance between Jupiter and Earth varies from 365 million miles to 601 million miles. At the closest approach, Jupiter can approach Venus' brilliance in the night sky.
Both Jupiter and Earth follow elliptical orbits, so their distances from one another and the sun change from year to year. NASA recently launched a spacecraft named Juno to explore Jupiter more closely. Juno was launched in August 2011 and should arrive in Jupiter's orbit in 2016. It is set to orbit closer than any earlier Jupiter-bound spacecraft, examining the magnetic field, the gravitational field and the natural radio waves of Jupiter to allow scientists to gain a better understanding of the largest planet in the solar system.