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See How Jupiter and Earth Share Celestial Closeness at UWFox

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This week the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, is at its closest to the Earth for this year, according to Ty Westbrook, Interim Director of the Barlow Planetarium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. Ty Westbrook

"Just after sunset Jupiter can be seen as the brightest object in the eastern sky," Westbrook said. "Jupiter rises at sunset and is visible all night long and sets at sunrise."

"This week Jupiter is at opposition. Opposition is when an outer planet is directly opposite the Sun in the sky as seen from Earth," Westbrook explained. "When a planet is at opposition it is also when it is the closest to the Earth for the year and appears as large as it can in a telescope."

"In a telescope Jupiter is magnificent! Even in a small telescope, cloud bands in its thick atmosphere are easily visible along with its four most famous moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto," Westbrook pointed out. "Even in a pair of ordinary binoculars these moons can be seen to slowly move and change their position from hour to hour."

Westbrook also shared that, "Bright Venus is still visible as the brightest object in the western sky after sunset until it sets around 11:30 p.m. and Saturn is still visible in the constellation Leo the Lion, which sets around 1:00 a.m. CDT."

Interested observers can find out where and how to find all the planets now currently visible in the Wisconsin sky by visiting the Barlow Planetarium. All of the Barlow’s current star shows feature a tour of the night sky as seen from the Fox Valley. The planetarium’s current show schedule and show descriptions can be found, following, or by logging on to www.barlowplanetarium.org.

Family Matinee shows for June

Many Stars, Many Stories

Where does the Sun go at night? Why do the stars shine? Where did the stars come from? Long before telescopes were invented, the first astronomers studied the sky and tried to answer many questions about what they saw. This show presents the stories of the stars from many different cultures and times. This show is designed for 8 and younger. Shows are Saturdays & Sundays @ 1:30 p.m.

Laser Classic Hits

This show features a collection of the most requested songs from our laser show repertoire, and is a virtual reality, music & laser extravaganza for the whole family.

Shows are Saturdays & Sundays @ 2:30 p.m.

"The Leviathan of Parsonstown: Irish astronomy in the Victorian Age".

Throughout the height of the Victorian era, Ireland was home to the largest telescope in the world. Created by William Parsons, the 3rd Earl of Rosse, the "Leviathan," as it was known, was able to reveal the nature of "the nebulae" and helped change our understanding of the universe. This show takes us back to Victorian Ireland to witness the remarkable achievement of William Parsons and his most amazing telescope. There will be a tour of the current night sky as seen from the Fox Valley. Shows are Saturdays & Sundays @ 3:30 p.m.

Rock Laser shows for June


7:00 p.m., Laser Metallica

8:00 p.m., Laser Korn

9:00 p.m., Pink Floyd "The Division Bell"


7:00 p.m., Laser Doors

8:00 p.m., Laser Hendrix

9:00 p.m., Pink Floyd "The Division Bell"


Posted 06/06/2007