211463/p944238632_255409.jpg Public Viewing at the JMO

 Fall 2014


Join us to view stars, planets, the Moon, constellations, and anything else we can find in space.    

Weather is always an issue!
If it is cloudy or raining, viewings may be canceled. Check the website before coming.
Dress for the weather.  The temperature of the dome is like that of the outdoors.

Email for a night you would like the JMO to be open.

See a map and more instructions below!!


Parking and Directions for a visit to the JMObservatory

Jackson Middle School Observatory

6000 – 109th Avenue N
Champlin, MN 55316
Latitude: 45.153552 and Longitude -93.353798

You need flashlights to walk to and from the JMO

Park on the east side of Jackson Middle School by the Community Pool. Park as close to door 15 as you can get. Then walk north, between the building and the tennis courts, to the track. Turn left or west and follow the track, past the portables, to the domed building. This is the JMO. Enter at the south door facing the school.

211463/p1497320458_253872.jpgWhat's Up?
This week

 Stargazing Information from StarDate Online (http://stardate.org)   

This Week's Stargazing Tip

Go to:

Lunar Phases
Go to:


Melissa Noble, 8th Grade Advanced ELA Teacher, has a student that won 1st place in a NASA essay contest!

8th grader Hannah Rhee won the contest!

Her essay was for the target of Saturn.  She will have her essay published on the NASA website along with her picture.

See her essay online at:


Bobak Ferdowsi and the three targets of the 2013 edition of the contest

Email form NASA:

Congratulations! You are receiving this email because one of your students is a national winner in NASA’s 2013 Cassini Scientist for a Day essay contest! 

As a prize, your class is invited to a special NASA videoconference where your students can ask questions to Cassini scientists.

Once again, congratulations to you and your students.

Best wishes,

The Cassini Outreach Team

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Pasadena, California

See here story on Channel 12 news (the last segment)



Jackson Teachers

Ms. Schendel and Mrs. McLellan

Present at 2014 NASA Conference in Houston

on using Reading Strategies with NASA Resources.

Then they had a chance to try out the Space Rover.


1st, and 5th photo credit ©2014 Larry Grace / AirSpaceMN.org

Go Boldly Expo Honoree, Mrs. McLellan
Navigate Your World – & Beyond
Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Go Boldly Challenge recognized Minnesotans of all ages who have achieved something extraordinary related to aviation or aerospace. Honorees have a passion for aviation, aerospace or related fields, a positive approach to achieving a dream and ongoing commitment to gaining and using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.

Honorees were recognized in five age groups: elementary, middle school, high school, college and adult, at the Go Boldly Expo on April 26th, 2014 at the Downtown St. Paul Airport (9 a.m.5 p.m.). Mrs. Dee McLellan was selected for the adult group.

The Go Boldly Expo was a free public event for students, educators and families featuring Apollo Astronauts Buzz Aldrin (first moon landing) and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt (last moon landing).  The Go Boldly honorees had their picturetaken with Minnesota astronaut Karen Nyberg, who recently returned from the International Space Station.  The Expo includes main stage presentations, book signings and an interactive career showcase.

Blood Moon April 2014

By Callie Aho


ELA Class Interviews Astronaut from Minnesota,

Bob Cabana

Ms. Noble's class paid a visit to the JMO to interview Astronaut Bob Cabana. Mr. Cabana was born and grew up in Minnesota and is now the director of Kennedy Space Center!

Read more about it at:


Read more about Director Cabana at:


Do The Math

7th grade math classes have been visiting the Observatory and learning about ratio and proportion. They have been doing a little activity called:

Honey, I Shrunk the Solar System!

Scoop at the Scope

ST. PATRICK's DAY CME IMPACT: As predicted, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field at 0600 UT on March 17th. The impact sparked a moderately strong (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm that sent Northern Lights spilling across the Canadian border into the United States as far south as Colorado:

Taken by Cole Clark on March 17, 2013 @ Big lake,MN


The first image above is Stellarium showing the position of Ceres. The above right is an image of an asteroid/Dwarf Planet called Ceres as seen in the JMO telescope on March 6, 2013 at about 7 PM.

The above images were taken by Paul Fusco

Ceres   Image of Ceres Credit: Keck Observatory by C. Dumas (NASA-JPL)

The Dawn spacecraft ended its extraordinarily successful 2012 by smoothly continuing to thrust with its ion propulsion system to its 2015 rendezvous with dwarf planet Ceres.We will get close-up pictures at that time.



The above is an image of an asteroid called Vesta as seen in the JMO telescope on January 9, 2013 at about 6 PM. The picture was taken by Paul Fusco. Above right is Stellarum showing the position of Vesta.

This is Vesta. This picture was taken by a camera on the NASA Dawn mission.


This picture of the Moon was taken by Paul Fusco on December 4, 2012 at about 7 AM using the JMO telescope. Thanks Paul

COMET ISON, R.I.P.: Following its Thanksgiving Day brush with solar fire, sundiving Comet ISON is now just a cloud of dust. Among experts, a consensus is building that the comet broke apart shortly before perihelion (closest approach to the sun). In the picture, note how rapidly the comet fades just before it vanishes behind the occulting disk of the SOHO coronagraph:

After perihelion, the comet emerges as a diffuse remnant of its former self. No one knows for sure what is inside that fan-shaped cloud. Possibilities include a small remnant nucleus or a "rubble pile" of furiously vaporizing fragments. By the end of the day on Nov. 28th, Comet ISON was spent.

As of Dec. 2nd, the cloud of debris is no brighter than a star of approximately 8th magnitude. Experienced astrophotographers might be able to capture the comet's fading "ghost" in the pre-dawn sky of early December, but a naked-eye spectacle is out of the question.

From: spaceweather.com


John Ziemer from NASA JPL


John Ziemer from NASA JPL, and a former Jackson Middle School Student, spoke with 61 current Jackson students today, March 2, 2012. Because of 21st century technology, students can make these kinds of real time connections with those who can inspire them to learn. Dr. Ziemer works on the electric engine at JPL in Pasadena California. This kind of event helps the students see what kind of possibilities could be in store for their future. Dee McLellan, coordinator of the Jackson Middle School Observatory, calls him the “Homer Hickam” of Jackson Middle School from the true story of the “Rocket Boys”. He started his presentation with a few slides of old Jackson Jaguar logos, seen in the background of the pictures. This gave the 7th and 8th grade students from Mr. Waldoch and Mr. Pettman classes an immediate connection. These teachers explained how their students are shooting off rockets in the very same field behind the school next to the Observatory as John did many years ago. And now Dr. Ziemer works for NASA and is developing the newest type of rocket propulsion.


Checking out Saturn


Here are some photos of the Moon from Public Viewing Night on August 4, 2011. About 18 people were there to see enjoy the view!





The JMO October 2012

The JMO in the morning of December 2, 2010

Venus and the Moon

If you have any questions, send an email