Chasing Storms on Jupiter & Building Alien Worlds


Contributing Writer
Walt Pickut
Board of Directors, MMMAA

The Martz-Kohl Observatory promises isitors more exciting opportunities this month to experience the Solar System and beyond, and as always – weather permitting – opportunities to tour the universe through the Martz-Kohl telescopes. Tours and exhibits are always ready for guests, cloudy skies or not.

September is Jupiter Month

The public is invited to the Martz-Kohl Observatory on Wednesday evening, September 11, at 7:30, for a special movie night presentation of National Geographic’s: A Traveler’s Guide to the Planets – Jupiter. Because sunset will fall at 7:35 that night, visitors are invited to take their own, personal tour of Jupiter after the movie through the observatory’s exceptional Kohl telescope.

See the biggest, wildest, longest-lasting storm in the Solar System – Jupiter’s Great Red Spot – twice as big as Planet Earth. See it for yourself and look for the four beautiful moons of Jupiter that Galileo discovered 410 years ago.

Alien Worlds

On Wednesday, September 18, Martz-Kohl will host a return of, popular special guest speaker, Dr. Darren Williams, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics from Penn State Behrend in Erie. Darren, a Jamestown native, is a long-time friend of Martz-Kohl, having begun his study of the heavens at the observatory as a teen.

Darren has published extensively on alien worlds orbiting distant stars. His interests include extreme seasons Earth-like planets with bizarre orbits, exoplanet oceans, and climate changes on Earth.

If you want to know how to build ET’s home planet, you are invited to the Martz-Kohl Observatory and hear all about it from Darren Williams. His talks, always geared for the general public, are followed by lively Q&A.

Showers Not Needing Umbrellas

September this year is not a good month for showy meteor showers. On the other hand, traffic leaving Earth is in high gear.

On September 10: Japan will launch a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station and dock there on September 14.

On September 25, three new Expedition 61 crewmembers will launch to the International Space Station in the Russian Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On board will be NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates.

Bon voyage! We’ll be looking for you.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.