**Update 8/12 12.45am: The public night was a success, although clouds did drown out the last 45 minutes. Thanks to the following media outlets for their support: WLHT-FM, WOOD-TV, WXMI-TV, WZZM-TV.**
With partly cloudy/mostly clear skies 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. Along with the solar system’s largest planet, we will show off some of the finest objects of deep space as well, including nebulas and star clusters. And who knows, perhaps a comet and an asteroid. The sky’s the limit.
This is also the weekend for the Perseid Meteor Shower, possibly the most widely known meteor shower of the year. Keep looking skyward when you are outside to catch these fleeting streaks of light in the sky.
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