With "mostly cloudy" and a 40% chance of showers, we'll have to abandon
any hope of doing astronomy this evening. We'll try again next month.
Hope you all got to enjoy the Venus / Jupiter / Moon show in the
evenings over the past week!
Here's a little astronomy from Jane on the April edition of What's Up
If you are not quite sure which of those stars is Mars, or where to look
for swift Mercury, or your smart phone with Google Sky has a dead
battery, then this month's What's Up podcast will help you out. It'll
also show you why some Mars Oppositions are closer than others and
provide some moon-near-planets or planets-near-planets guideposts.
This month I added some downloadable planet finding charts, a calendar,
and a Mars Opposition graphic. You can find all these on the Solar
System Exploration website here right below the video formats.
Good dates to catch a planet (or two)
* March 3 is Mars Opposition. It'll rise at sunset, set near dawn,
and you'll have good views for many months!
* March 5 Mercury below Jupiter and Venus (its highest altitude)
* March 7 Moon and Mars
* March 12 and 13, Venus passes Jupiter (watch them switch places over
the next two weeks - Venus is the brighter of the two)
* March 25 Moon next to Jupiter
* March 26 Moon next to Venus
We'll have 2 telescopes out on busy Colorado Blvd, weather permitting
tomorrow night (Saturday March 3, since we were weathered out last
Friday night) Look for our man-sized telescopes somewhere along
Colorado between Fair Oaks and Pasadena Avenues, where we find a
curbside parking spot. Stop by and have a look at Jupiter, the moon, and
Venus, and we'll point out Mars (at opposition) to you.
Mark your calendar for May 19 - we'll hold a public star party in Mojave
National Preserve's Black Canyon Group Campsite on that night. Free
camping, RSVP required. Dark skies - darker than you've ever seen, I
bet. Let us know if you are interested, we'll get you the directions
and who to call for a campsite RSVP - potluck dinner before dark, lots
of rangers, interpretive staff attend. Great event!
This weekend is an interesting Mars in the Mojave Festival (March 9-12)
at Death Valley National Park
We may be there for a few of the events (hikes, great talks and panel
Jane Houston Jones
What's Up For March: Amazing planetary views all month