Mojo and I will make an impromptu, unscheduled sidewalk astronomy foray
tomorrow night September 3rd at Myrtle and Lime Streets 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
This month the first quarter moon phase falls on Sunday the 4th, and so
both flanking weekends offer some decent mooning —a slender crescent
this weekend, and a big fat waxing gibbous phase next weekend. I'll be
working at Kennedy Space Center next week for the launch of GRAIL – twin
washing machine-sized spacecraft heading to our moon. They'll fly in
formation very close to the moon's surface and measure the moon's
gravity. And I'll be at a star party at Brevard Community College
Observatory in Cocoa, FL next Friday night showing Grail's destination
with the local astronomy club! :–)
My monthly video is all about GRAIL and observing the moon. Next week,
the days surrounding the September 8th launch will perfect nights to
look at the moon and see where all 6 Apollo missions landed! Here's the
there is a great map of the landing sights on that page at the bottom.
We'll hand out some charts on the sidewalk both weekends, too.
Dark sky enthusiasts may want to join us in Mojave National Preserve on
September 24th. The Milky Way is high overhead, spanning the sky from
horizon to horizon. It's definitely worth the drive! The Mojave National
Preserve Conservancy website still shows our spring stargazing info
but just change the date to September
24th. Directions and RSVP contact are on the page, and they have not
changed. There is limited room for RV's so I'd definitely call if you
are bringing a large RV – there is plently of room for tents, but
everyone should RSVP. You only need to tell me your coming if you bring
telescopes, and want to share the cement pad. There's room for about 6
–8 telescopes Camping is free, courtesy of the MNPC, but you might want
to consider joining the conservancy and helping protect this magnificent
preserve. Last weekend we were at Yosemite's Glacier Point public star
party and we shared milky way views (plus a comet, supernova and more)
with 150 or so park visitors. A different astronomy club is up there at
Glacier Point right now and tomorrow night, too, in case you are heading
What else? I received a lot of questions about the August Perseids from
the media and enthusiasts alike. The full moon washed out the few
meteors we could possibly see from the city, and the same will happen
next year. So as a preemptive strike, I wrote up some tips in an article
called Post-Perseid depression? More showers are on the
I'm close to hitting the send button on a moon observing article, too.
It will appear as the top feature on my blog if I get it done this weekend.
Mojo and I both wrote our adventures at Kennedy Space Center for the
launch of Jupiter-bound Juno - apologies if I already shared that one.
Until next month, over and out!
Jane Houston Jones
What's Up For August? Jupiter and Juno