Sorry we have to cancel sidewalk astronomy this weekend. Clouds, rain or
both don't mix well with telescopes.
Luckily we've been able to work in 4 (or more) school/public star
parties over the last 2 weeks or so. Two of them had a Disney
connection. First, the Sidewalk Astronomers and the Los Angeles
Astronomical Society were invited to set up telescopes on the sidewalk
outside Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles on the 10th,
11th and 12th of January. http://twitpic.com/burd6f
The concert? Gustav
Holtz's The Planets, Opus 32, naturally! Then on the 22nd, Mojo set up
our big refractor telescope outside his Disney Grand Central Creative
Campus office in Glendale. http://twitpic.com/bxgwt3
We dodged clouds
but moon and Jupiter popped out every now and then.
In between, we had successful school star parties at Andres Duarte
Elementary and Hamilton Elementary in Pasadena. This time of the year
is perfect for school star parties since it gets dark by 6 p.m. A note
to teachers thinking of asking us to bring telescopes - ask several
months in advance, and let us recommend the date to maximize the chance
of seeing something :-)
We are planning a Mojave National Preserve spring star party, but I have
not heard a final date. I put in for March 9, or April 6 or May 11.
I'll let you know which date is - those from our email list who have
attended can vouch for the fun and fabulous skies! Mojo and I will
likely head to Amboy Crater on the other two dates, and you are free to
join us - it is a large parking lot, not a campsite, tho.
So what's Up? January has been spectacular for the doorstep astronomer
- all you had to do is step outside and see planets and moon pairings at
dawn and in the evening. Our friend Jack learned a good tip -- hold on
to something sturdy when looking straight overhead at the moon and Jupiter!
My January podcast is all about those pairings, and is linked to my blog
below. And February's podcast will be about a near-Earth asteroid on
the 15th (won't be visible easily, and only through telescopes), Mercury
as high as it gets on the 16th, Mercury moon and Mars near one another
from the 6-11th) and moon and Jupiter on the 18. And some other stuff. :-)
I sat down and mapped out monthly What's Up in 2013 previews to offer a
tantalizing peek into the future. It's right here on my blog post,
which I'll be updating as we learn more about the two potentially great
comets in 2013 - one in March and one in December!
Our next astro dates, weather permitting, will be Feb 9 (potential dark
sky trip, weather and schedules permitting) Feb 15 Pasadena, and 16th
Take care, everybody!
Jane Houston Jones
What's Up Podcast for January: Close Encounters (planets & moon)