Our featured object for this April Fools Day will not be the astronaut footprints on the moon as previously announced. The recent rain has apparently washed them away.
Instead, we plan to observe:
Joe Mulholland’s Meteor: last reported in the 1880’s when a piece broke off and hit western Pennsylvania. This was the last time no one was killed or injured by a meteor.
Cracks in the moon: discovered in 1874, these cracks have concerned scientists for years. Now there’s talk the moon may be breaking apart.
Pluto: Crop circles were recently spotted by the New Horizon’s spacecraft as it passed by Pluto last month. Images are just coming in of marks on the surface of the ninth planet that look exactly like circles found on a farm in England.
Mars: The clouds of smoke on Mars are still visible, so we’ll try to find them again. The last time they were reported was in 1938 by Orson Welles. They might be some natural venting on the surface, or maybe something else.
Venus: The apparent size of Venus is greater tonight thanks to the slight shift in Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The planet will probably appear as large as the full moon in our sky. The probable cause? Since 1874 the transatlantic cables have been acting like two electromagnets pulling us closer to the Sun.
Cline Observatory is located on the Jamestown campus of Guilford Technical community College. It’s open to the public for viewing every clear Friday night beginning 30 minutes after sunset during March-October. Sessions usually last about two hours.