Hi Old Town Astronomer astro enthusiasts!
My NASA JPL¹s What¹s Up February Podcast: Jupiter¹s Moons + Education
activities and a flyer are available here:
A few months ago I was researching images of the Crab nebula and its
creation in the supernova of 1054 for my November 2009 podcast. I played
around with some starcharting software to see if I could recreate the view
seen from the famous rock painting at Chaco Canyon - of a starburst and a
crescent moon. By golly, the same shaped crescent moon appeared on my
computer screen next to the supernova remnant! I included those charts in
that November podcast!
For February 2010, I wanted to talk a bit about the discovery of the 4
Galilean moons. Using the same software (SkyMap Pro) I typed in January 7th
1610 and up popped a view of Jupiter near the constellation Orion, just as
Galileo described in his letters. I felt a direct connection with the sky
happenings of 400 years ago in Padua when I looked at those charts!
I was totally surprised to compare Galileo's drawing showing 3 moons on his
first night's sketch January 7, 1610 with my computer generated
skychart. The planet and moons lined up exactly like his historic drawing!
But the big surprise (for me) was that one of those moons in Galileo's
drawing was actually a tight pairing of Io and Europa! Galileo's telescope
could not split these two tiny objects.
Sorry for the ramble. Galileo continued his Jupiter series of observations
through March 2, 1610. 400 years ago today Galileo was out sketching Jupiter
once again. On that night of February 5th, 1610, he saw all four of the Galilean moons,
each side of Jupiter. Wow!
You can download or view some educational materials about Jupiter, plus a
2-page flyer on the NASA Solar System Exploration website archive page
along with the podcast here:
Youtube format here http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=JPLnews#g/u
The January 2010 What's Up topic was Mars Opposition and is still valuable
this month. It shows when and where to see the Spirit, Opportunity and
Phoenix sides of Mars with some February dates. :-) March's podcast will be
about Saturn Opposition and a bit about Rosetta and visible asteroids. :-)
Carpe Noctum! Jane
Jane Houston Jones
Old Town Astronomers: http://www.otastro.org
What's Up January 2010? Mars Opposition! http://is.gd/6krYj
What's Up Podcast on YouTube: http://is.gd/6WE77
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jhjones http://twitter.com/CassiniSaturn