Well, OK – maybe not hike all the way up TO Jupiter, but if you’re in the mood to take a nighttime trip to see a rare celestial event you should head to Griffith Park Observatory on Friday January 23rd. The Observatory is staying open late and using its telescopes to broadcast the shadows of three of Jupiter’s moons cast on its surface.
From 8:35PM to just before 11PM, the moons Io, Callisto, and Europa will pass in front of our view of the solar system’s biggest planet. The Observatory will be open until 10PM and will be watching the event with its telescopes as well as broadcasting the event in and outside the Observatory. The lawn will remain open late to 11PM for anyone who’d like to do their own stargazing as well.
Technically the trails in Griffith Park close at sunset, but if you arrange a car-shuttle you can hike up to the observatory via one of these three routes from the Fern Dell area or from Vermont Canyon Avenue (or, if you’re looking for a longer route, on this loop to Mount Hollywood).
Image of Jupiter’s surface used from NASA archives.