We all know that Jupiter is a planet, but what is “retrograde motion”? This is how Katherine Auld, President of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society, explains it. “Perfectly positioned for observing all month, very bright Jupiter moves retrograde through the body of the constellation Virgo in the southern evening sky. Retrograde motion happens because earth, on its shorter race track path around the sun, is passing Jupiter on its longer track, and making Jupiter appear to move backwards against the backdrop of stars. Jupiter will remain about 10 degrees above Virgo’s brightest star, Spica. The shadows of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons frequently cross the planet’s disk this month, including a number of double shadow events. Because Jupiter is high in the night sky, it makes a nice sight using binoculars, and a nice photo opportunity as well.”
Auld further stated, “This should be a great night for observing with a telescope, binoculars, or just using your unaided eyes! We will have several telescopes set up looking at Jupiter and various other deep sky objects. By the nature of stellar observation, these objects will move through the evening, so viewing opportunities will be plentiful. As always, everyone is invited: all ages are encouraged. Items to bring with you include a flashlight (covered with a red cloth or balloon), binoculars, water bottle, and a folding chair. A basket of children’s books will be provided along with balloon-covered flashlights for reading under the stars.”
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
When: Saturday May 27, 2017
Time: Lecture begins at 7:45 pm with night sky viewing at 8:45 pm
Bring the whole family and join us at Hobbs State Park as we explore the May night sky. For more information: 479-789-5000