Go Boldly Expo
Main Stage Presentations (streamed to locations around Minnesota)
Past: Minnesota was the world’s balloon (upper atmosphere) research capital and home of the Father of America’s Human Spaceflight Program, which led to the Apollo Story.
Book Signings (Dr. Buzz Aldrin & Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt)
Public Viewing at the JMO
May 7, 2014
During JMS Expo
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)
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.
Stargazing Information from StarDate Online (http://stardate.org)
This Week's Stargazing Tip
April 17: Moon and the Scorpion
The star Acrab stands to the right of the Moon as they climb into view after midnight tonight. It is at the end of a short line of three stars that represents the head of Scorpius, the scorpion. Acrab is actually a system of six stars.
April 18: Changing Skies
Sunlight will illuminate more than 80 percent of the lunar hemisphere that faces our way tonight, so the Moon shines brightly. Molecules of air scatter the moonlight, filling the sky with a faint glow, which is a weaker version of daylight.
April 19: Bear’s Lodge
The stars of the Big Dipper are part of Ursa Major, the great bear. In a Kiowa story, the dipper’s seven stars represent sisters who were borne into the sky to escape their brother, who had been magically transformed into a bear.
April 20: Lyrid Meteor Shower
The Lyrid meteor shower should reach its peak tomorrow night. Under a dark sky, you might see up to a couple of dozen meteors per hour after midnight. The number of meteors increases closer to dawn, as your part of Earth turns into the meteor stream.
April 21: Last-Quarter Moon
The Moon will be at last quarter tonight. It aligns at a right angle to the line between Earth and the Sun, so sunlight illuminates one-half of the lunar hemisphere that faces our way.
April 22: Emptiness
It’s lonely here in the galactic suburbs. The distance to the Sun’s nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, is almost 29 million times the Sun’s diameter. At that scale, if you lived in a house that is 50 feet wide, your nearest neighbor would be farther than the Moon.
April 23: Time Bombs
Several time bombs are in view this evening. The list includes most of the bright stars of Orion, which is low in the west, plus Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, in the southeast. All of these stars are destined to explode as supernovae.
First April 7, 3:31 am
Full April 15, 2:42 am
Last April 22, 2:52 am
New April 29, 1:14 am
Times are U.S. Central Time.
The full Moon of April is known as the Egg Moon or Grass 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:
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!
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.
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