June 28, 2018: Science in the Night;
Catch A View Of The Planets Through A Telescope.
By Mark Narwa.
[Ed: this is the Unabridged Web-extra Version of the article.]
On Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7, Westboro’s Cube Gallery at 1285 Wellington Street West will be hosting its 10th annual Nocturnal Sidewalk Telescope Festival. The Ottawa branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and PopScope Ottawa will be setting up various types of telescopes on both nights between 9:30pm and 11:30pm in front of the Cube Gallery, weather permitting.
This will be a great opportunity to view the Moon through a telescope. It will be in last quarter phase (7 days before new moon) which means it will be three-quarters lit. The terminator, which is the line that separates the lit part from the dark part, will make it excellent for seeing a lot of detail on the Moon’s surface.
Venus will be very bright in the west sky after sunset on these two nights. Like the Earth’s moon, Venus has phases. On these two nights Venus will be in the gibbous phase – the phase between half and full moon. As a result, Venus will be about 70% lit.
Jupiter will also be visible as a brilliant object in the south sky after sunset. Through the telescope you will be able to see several of the bands that are called belts that cross Jupiter’s face. Seeing Jupiter’s large red spot may also be possible. Jupiter’s four brightest moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto which are known as the Galilean satellites after discoverer Galileo will also be visible through the telescope. Each night these moons change position around the planet as does the position of the red spot.
Saturn will be visible in the southeastern sky. Seeing the rings around the planet especially for the first time is magnificent. Saturn’s brightest moon Titan, will also be visible along with three other of its moons, Tethys, Dione and Rhea.
And last but not least, Mars will be visible in the southeast sky at about 10:30pm. Through a telescope, the planet will appear red and depending on sky conditions some features might be visible.