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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

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Enjoy date with the stars

IN just over a week, Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will be at its highest point in the sky for many years to come.

“Through binoculars, you’ll be able to see that Jupiter is distinctly non-star-like and you should be able to make out the Galilean moons of Jupiter – the four largest moons”, said Dr Chris Arridge, astronomer from University College, London.

“These go around Jupiter in a matter of days and so you’ll be able to watch them orbit by looking at the giant planet from one night to the next.”

Viewing Jupiter will be a highlight of National Astronomy Week (March 1 -8), during which UK astronomers and local organisations have teamed up to offer opportunities to view the giant planet.

From March 1-9, at 4pm, visitors to the Life Science Centre in Newcastle can take a tour of the night sky in the planetarium, zooming into this planetary giant and investigating two of Jupiter’s moons – Io and Europa.

Planetarium supervisor Chris Hudson said: “Science is our passion at Life, and astronomy is an exciting science that all can take part in.

“National Astronomy Week is a great way to share an enthusiasm for space and to encourage others to start stargazing.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors into our planetarium to tour the night sky and to take a closer look at Jupiter.”