There's a new video feature debuting on the JPL web pages today. The
new monthly feature, which I host :-), is called "What's Up". It
will highlight an astronomical viewing opportunity everyone can
enjoy, usually even without a telescope, and usually in the most
light polluted sky. All of you on our Old Town Astronomers list know
all about light polluted skies - it's where we set up telescopes
In April there is a fantastic viewing opportunity all of you can
enjoy right from your own back (or front) yard. No telescope
required! The moon rises from near Venus on April 21, (which is
National Astronomy Day) through April 25, when the moon is above
Saturn. Most of the images in the video came my 350+ worldwide
volunteers, called the Cassini-Huygens Saturn Observation Campaign.
The video is here on the JPL home page : http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/
On the JPL Education Gateway page is the video plus amateur astronomy
Here you can download the sky chart which will show you where to find
Venus, Saturn, and watch the crescent moon rise in-between the two
planets later this month. You might try looking for the moon April 19
or 20 below Venus. it'll be a very thin crescent.
Please forward this to your own network of friends or students if you
think they'd be interested. Or link to the JPL Education's Amateur
your pals can use the charts, and listen to the video, and use the
other great links on the page.
I have one more tidbit. April 21 is National Astronomy Day. Mojo
will be set up as usual in Monrovia (weather permitting), and
possibly in Pasadena on April 20, but I will be in England that
weekend. Here is a really nice (and free) astronomy chart for April.
It usually is available only by subscription, but the Abrams
Planetarium has made it available for Astronomy Day. I know a lot of
you are members of other astronomy clubs or may be holding your own
observing events on April 21 which is why I am sharing this link.
Print it out and enjoy! You might even want to subscribe! I used
this chart when I was a brand new amateur astronomer unsure what to
aim at. It provided me years of enjoyment!
Jane Houston Jones
Senior Outreach Specialist, Cassini Program
JPL - 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 230-205
Pasadena, CA 91109 818-393-6435
Cassini Saturn Observation Campaign