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Griffith Observatory: Hopeful Asteroid Watchers Gather Saturday

The observatory's monthly star party times nicely with a monster asteroid's passing, though star gazers may not see what they are looking for.

Bill Nye the Science Guy lives not too far from us in Studio City just around the bend in the 101 Freeway north.

Like many  he's watching for a 160-foot-wide asteriod that is whizzing past the Earth this week.

Nye said that while the best time to see it is Friday, the Griffith Observatory is gathering a bunch of amateur astronomers on Saturday afternoon and evening to see what they can see.

The free public star parties at the observatory are held monthly with the assistance of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers from 2 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.

They are a chance for the whole family to look at the sun, moon, visible planets, and other objects, to try out a variety of telescopes, and to talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment. 

Observatory officials say the star party is likely to look for the asteroid in vain.  Mark Pine, deputy director of the observatory, says the closest approach will occur at 11:25 a.m., P.S.T., on Friday and will not be visible from Los Angeles.

Pine says the observatory will not be observing the asteroid Friday evening or holding any special programs. 

Bill Nye says cideo of the asteroid will be shown (weather permitting) on the NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center’s Ustream site (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc) between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., P.S.T.  

To learn more, go to: Bill Nye the Science Guy 

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