Public Viewing at the JMO
March 24, 2014
Join us to view stars, planets, the Moon, constellations, and anything else we can find in space.
Weather is always an issue!
Email for a night you would like the JMO to be open.
See a map and more instructions below!!
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:
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.
The Cassini Outreach Team
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
See here story on Channel 12 news (the last segment)
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!
Stargazing Information from StarDate Online (http://stardate.org)
This Week's Stargazing Tip
March 4: Eternal Stars
As Earth turns, most stars rise in the east and set in the west. But a few remain visible all night, every night. These stars are called circumpolar, meaning “around the pole.” In ancient Egypt they were known as the eternal stars.
March 5: Gegenschein
If you can get away from city lights the next few nights, look high overhead for the Gegenschein, a round, faint, hazy patch of light. It is created by sunlight reflecting off of grains of dust scattered between the planets of our solar system.
March 6: Moon and Taurus
The Moon looks up at Taurus this evening. The bull’s shoulder, represented by the Pleiades star cluster, is to the upper right of the Moon, with his V-shaped face, highlighted by bright orange Aldebaran, farther to the upper left of the Moon.
March 7: Moon and Aldebaran
The Moon stares down into the eye of Taurus this evening, the bright orange star Aldebaran. The star is a couple of degrees below the Moon as night falls, which is roughly the width of your finger held at arm’s length.
March 8: First-Quarter Moon
The Moon is at first quarter today, indicating that it has completed one quarter of its month-long cycle of phases. It rises around noon, stands high in the south at sunset, and sets in the wee hours of tomorrow morning.
March 9: Moon and Jupiter
As darkness falls this evening the planet Jupiter, the third-brightest object in the night sky, stands close to the upper left of the brightest: the Moon.
March 10: Moon, Jupiter, and Procyon
Two bright lights bracket the gibbous Moon tonight. The brilliant planet Jupiter, which looks like a cream-colored star, stands to the upper right of the Moon at nightfall. Procyon, the brightest star of Canis Minor, is farther below the Moon.
New March 1, 2:00 am
First March 8, 7:27 am
Full March 16, 12:08 pm
Last March 23, 8:46 pm
New March 30, 1:45 pm
Times are U.S. Central Time.
The full Moon of March is known as the Sap Moon, Worm Moon, or Lenten Moon.
ELA Class Interviews Astronaut from Minnesota,
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:
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.
ILA Class works on a NASA writing project.
Ms. Noble's class paid a visit to the JMO for information on the Cassini mission at Saturn. And then on March 7, 2013 Ms. Noble's class had a chat with JPL about the Cassini mission.
Jackson Teachers Present at NASA MoonKAM Conference
April 20, 2013
Ms. Schendel's class uses Reading Strategies
to learn about the Moon
Now why would a reading strategies class visit an observatory?
Well, quite simply to give students something real to read about. In this issue we are happy to feature a wonderful example of teacher collaboration.
The GRAIL MoonKAM Newsflash will keep you up to date with information about the GRAIL mission and lunar science as well as provide resources for teachers.
Volume 2 | Issue 2
In this issue:
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:
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
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.
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 in the morning of December 2, 2010
Venus and the Moon
If you have any questions, send an email