We'll attempt to see the moon and Jupiter tonight from Myrtle and Lime Streets from 6:30 - 8:30, through hazy skies. We'll celebrate the life of John Dobson, our friend and founder of the Sidewalk Astronomers, who died on January 15, at the age of 98.

Mojo and I were lucky to have been at his 98th birthday party in September 2013. I thanked him (again) for introducing me to the night sky, public astronomy and science education over 25 years ago.

Tonight I'll bring the first  telescope I made in his 1988 telescope making class.  Making that telescope, especially grinding and polishing my first mirror, with his assistance, has led me on many unexpected journeys, including the journey to Southern California ten years ago. The first question I was asked on an interview for my job in Education and Public Outreach for JPL's Cassini Mission to Saturn was "Did you really make a telescope in John Dobson's class"?  Really! 

During my first week on the job, that same manager stopped by my desk and asked: "I have a 6-inch telescope with a really dirty mirror, can you clean it for me?  Yes!

See you tonight, I hope! If not, watch February's What's Up, my 80th monthly stargazing podcast.  

25 years ago, when I was taking my first looks through my homemade telescope, I never would have dreamed it would lead me here!

Thanks, John :-)

Jane Houston Jones
Monrovia, CA
Jane Houston Jones
@jhjones @CassiniSaturn @NASAInSight
What's Up For Feb? All the planets, Dawn & Rosetta