Halloween Treats & Telescopes!
Binoculars, mounted on a tripod, to see Jupiter's moons.
Halloween Moon, Mount Diablo Astronomical Society
Photo: M. Berendsen

On Halloween, many amateur astronomers set up telescopes and binoculars on their lawns for trick or treaters. This Halloween, Jupiter will be visible in the east and a waxing crescent moon will be in the southwest. With binoculars or a telescope, you'll be able to see some of Jupiter's moons.

Skip Bird, of the Westminster Astronomical Society told us about his Halloween Night of Ghost and Goblins of the Night that he holds on his lawn:

"I kept my eye peeled (it kept rolling off the table and I think the dog finally ate it) for a comet but none showed up. So I had to settle for Jupiter and the Andromeda galaxy for all the visitors. I had set up a table with candy, space place stickers, Hubble card sets and a boiling (dry ice chunks) cauldron of water. In the pumpkins I mixed up a ghoulish mixture of methyl alcohol and boric acid (makes a really cool green flame) to light the way to the telescope. When the kids came up the first thing they wanted to do was to see what was in the telescope than go get the candy and gifts."

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Wishing you clear skies for Halloween 2011!

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