Stargazers Watch at Griffith Observatory as 3 Jupiter Moons Cross Paths

Amateur astronomers gathered at the Griffith Observatory to watch a rare celestial event Friday night.

The shadows of three of Jupiter's four largest moons crossed in front of the gas giant, in an event that won't repeat itself in Los Angeles until 2032, according to the observatory, which let the public use telescopes set out on its front lawn to watch the event.

Jupiter has 67 moons, and three of the laregst -- Io, Europa, and Callisto -- orbited close enough together that their shadows could all be seen on Jupiter's surface at the same time.

Chris Spellman, a member of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, said at the observatory that events like this "shadow convergence" are an educational experience that families can enjoy.

"A lot of people have never looked through a telescope before," Spellman said. "Much older people never looked at the moon, (have) never seen a star through a telescope…people get every excited and very wowed."

Another observer, Naomi Ogaldez said, in Spanish, she was at the observatory to see at the museum when she noticed, "a lot was going on in the sky."

Seeing the stars through a telescope is much different from seeing them on photographs on the Internet, Ogaldez said.

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