What’s Up for March 2016?


In March, Jupiter, it’s moons and moon shadows will all be visible in the sky. Find out when and where to look up:


Jupiter dominates the evening sky this month, rising at sunset and setting at dawn. On March 8, Jupiter reaches what is called “opposition”. Imagine that Jupiter and the sun are at opposite ends of a straight line, with the Earth in between. This brings Jupiter its closest to Earth, so it shines brighter and appears larger in telescopes.


On the nights of March 14 – 15, March 21 – 22 and March 29, two of Jupiter’s moons will cross the planet’s disk. 


When the planet is at opposition and the sun shines on Jupiter’s moons, we can see the moon’s shadow crossing the planet. There are actually 11 of these double shadow transits in March!


The next six months will be awesome times for you to image Jupiter when it’s highest in the sky; near midnight now, and a little earlier each night through the late summer.

Even through the smallest telescopes or binoculars, you should be able to see the two prominent belts on each side of Jupiter’s equator made up of the four Galilean moons: Io, Europa Ganymede and Calisto. If you have a good enough view, you may even see Jupiter’s Red Spot!


Our Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter on July 4th of this year and will go into orbit around the giant planet. Right now, the Juno mission science team is actively seeking amateur and professional images of the planet. These images are uploaded to a Juno website, and the public is invited to discuss points of interest in Jupiter’s atmosphere.


Locations will later be voted on and the favorites will be targets for JunoCam, the spacecraft’s imaging camera. Once JunoCam has taken the images, they’ll be posted online. Imaging participants can then process these raw mission images and re-upload them for others to view.  


Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com


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I jog around my apartment complex since I have a course set that measures almost exactly two miles so it’s easy for me to measure progress. I run at night but I wear the PT shirts from work that have reflective lettering and department logos on the front, back, and both sleeves.

The path is almost all on the sidewalk, but it crosses the parking lot in two locations. There are stop signs in the crosswalks and people frequently cross there since it’s right next to the community park/pool.

Well, I was running last night and I approached this crosswalk. I saw this blue Corolla approach and slow down. I assumed he was going to stop so I continued running. This guy decided to accelerate and pass me in his oncoming lane, completely blowing the stop sign. He sped around and disappeared behind some of the buildings.

I followed his path and saw where he parked, I didn’t get to confront the guy but I know it was his car since the hood was still warm.

Well, I decided to make another lap and pass by my apartment, where I grabbed my daughters giant bottle of glitter. I emptied the bottle into the air vent right in front of the windshield, the same vent that sucks air when you use your A/C or defroster.

Tonight I swung by his car again to see if it was effective. I shined the light off my phone into his window and saw glitter all over his console, both front seats, and a moderate amount into the rear seat.

I hope he has fun trying to get that stuff out of the cloth seats.