With the promise of clearing skies from the gloom and rain of the past few days, tonight (Saturday night) the James C. Veen Observatory – located south of Lowell, MI – will be open for public tours and telescopic observations. Here are the particulars:
Time: 9.00pm – Midnight
Admission: $3 – Adults, $2 – kids 17 and under, under 5 free
Full information on Visitors’ Nights can be found on the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association website – graaa.org. Just click on the Visitors’ Night link in the menu.
There you will find a map showing directions to the observatory, and a FAQ about visitors’ nights. On the main page of the site, click on the OPEN sign, and you will be taken to a page with particulars about the specific night detailing what objects will be featured through the telescopes.
Tonights main feature will be the planet Jupiter. The solar system’s largest planet hangs low in the southern sky, and a telescope will show clouds bands on the planet, plus four of it’s moons. In addition, we will be looking at the farthest planet from the Sun, Neptune, as well as the bright gibbeous moon, it’s light being obvious as it drowns out dimmer stars. In addition, there will also be selected brighter deep sky objects like star clusters.
If you go out to the observatory, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the experience. You can leave comments here, or drop an email to graaa @ graaa.org.