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164 People for Parent’s Weekend!!. October 4, 2010

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The observatory had 164 visitors Friday night in a special open house for parent’s weekend! We looked at the Ring Nebula first then switched over to Jupiter.

Thanks to Maggie, Tyler, Bob, Josh, and Julia for help with the control room, the crowds, and manning the large binocular and small telescopes outside.

OPEN HOUSE SUCCESS! September 26, 2010

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Friday’s open house at the EIU Observatory was a success. We had 254 visitors from 8:30PM until we closed up the dome at 11:00.

Special thanks to three people.  Maggie who manned the main 16″  telescope and was explaining the wonders of Jupiter to all 254 people, I hope she is able to speak today! Tyler was in the control room and had  set up the computers to show the recent observations of asteroid rotation. Finally Hannah was outside with the 8″ scope entertaining the people waiting in line.

Open House at the Observatory Tonight! September 24, 2010

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EIU Observatory

It’s the last Friday of the month and the first Friday of Autumn! Time for the open house. Weather cooperating the target for tonight is Jupiter. It’s in opposition to the sun (in the sky ~180 degrees from the Sun), which mean it is also closest to the Earth. So Jupiter will not look any better until next year. So come on out, viewing begins at 8:30.

Attendees will be able to look through the observatory’s state-of-the-art, 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Even if it’s cloudy, the observatory will be open for tours.

Eastern’s observatory is located southwest of the Campus Pond. A map is available online at http://www.eiu.edu/~physics/campusmap.pdf.

Hubble back just in time for Jupiter July 26, 2009

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, planets.
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The Hubble space telescope took time out from calibration to snap the clearest photo of the recent impact on Jupiter.

Hubble Photo of Impact on Jupiter

Hubble Photo of Impact on Jupiter

Scientists used the telescope Thursday to capture what they call the “sharpest visible-light picture” so far of the expanding gash. An amateur stargazer in Australia spotted the impression last Sunday. If you are interested in viewing the dark spot yourself, look to the article at “Universe Today”, which gives the times of viewing for the next few days: http://www.universetoday.com/2009/07/24/viewing-the-jupiter-impact-with-your-telescope/

New Impact on Jupiter July 21, 2009

Posted by jcconwell in Asteroid, Astronomy, planets.
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Taken from the article by Nancy Atkinson at Universe Today

Amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley from Canberra, Australia captured an image of Jupiter on July 19 showing a possible new impact site. Anthony’s image shows a new dark spot in the South Polar Region of Jupiter, at approximately 216° longitude in System 2. It looks very similar to the impact marks made on Jupiter when comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into the gas giant in 1994. (But read the Bad Astronomer’s post that the black spot could also be weather.)
UPDATE (7/20): It has been confirmed this is an impact on Jupiter. Mike Salway shared the news Glenn Orton from JPL has imaged the Jupiter black spot with the NASA Infrared Telescope and he has confirmed it’s an impact.


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