Jupiter Jumps Into View at Observatory

The Westmont Observatory

The Westmont Observatory

Westmont’s Keck Telescope will zoom in on Jupiter and several globular clusters as part of the free, public viewing of the stars Friday, June 21, at the Westmont Observatory. The viewing begins after sunset about 8:30 p.m. and lasts several hours.

Unlike the last few gatherings, this month’s viewing will not have to compete with the light of the moon. “Although still low in the sky at the start of the viewing, Jupiter will be a prime target,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor. “At the beginning of the viewing I plan to point the refractor telescope to the top of the sky where the globular cluster M3 resides.”

He also hopes to zoom in on the double star Cor Caroli, named after King Charles I. “This sparkling pair is a stunning feature of the summer sky,” Whittemore says.

Later in the viewing, Whittemore says he hopes to feature a number of open clusters in Cygnus, the Swan, as the Summer Triangle rises. “If not too low in the sky, we will try to bring in M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, the Strongman,” he says.

The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.

The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.