Our expert: Joseph Novotka, electrical engineer on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and president of the NASA Goddard Astronomy Club.
“The best place to go is near a large lake or along the Potomac. You don’t see light pollution from there. The further north you go up the Potomac [away from the city], the better it gets.
“Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg is a pretty good place—there’s a lake there. Out in Poolesville by the river, you’d probably get a good view. The viewing on the outskirts of Frederick is very good, and on a clear night you could even see the Milky Way.
“The higher up you are, the less atmosphere you have to look through. Even if it’s only a couple hundred feet, you’re doing yourself a great justice in trying to get higher.
“In March, there’s the opposition of Jupiter, which is when Jupiter is closest to Earth. On March 8 at midnight, you can see it with the naked eye.With binoculars, you can even see its moons.”
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This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.