Monday, January 26, 2015

UPDATED Incoming Asteroid 2004 BL86 To Flyby Today-1/26/15

Hey Space Placers!

UPDATED
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Here is a pic from NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Antenna that bounced radar off the asteroid that shows a moon accompanying the big space rock - not an unusual discovery as other asteroids have been found with moons.



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A lot of us are dealing with winter weather today.

1/2 kilometer (1/3 mile) wide Asteroid 2004 BL86  passed at closest approach to Earth today at 11 am EST. This big boy will pass us at about 745,000 miles distance, or about 3 times the distance to the Moon.

Amateur astronomers will be able to see this space rock with their telescopes and even quality binoculars at closest approach on the night of 26-27 January. Scientists are planning on observing the asteroid with radar as it passes by to get as much information as possible.

This is A CLEAR MISS and there is no danger. This is the largest known asteroid to pass us until 2027.

Get more info here and here.

It will be cloudy here in VA tonight :-(

Hope you can see it!

Sky Guy in Winter Weather VA

Friday, January 23, 2015

Comet 67/P Facts

Hey Space Placers!

To follow up yesterday's blog, here is a COOL poster on Comet 67/P:


Here is the very latest update from ESA on Rosetta and Comet 67P as well.

Enjoy - it is only going to get better as the year progresses!

Sky Guy in Wintry VA

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Am REALLY Getting Into Comets!

Hey Space Placers!

Look at this, can you believe that you are seeing a COMET less than 5 miles away?


Make sure you download the hi-res JPG to see every nook, cranny and pebble on Comet 67/P. This picture was taken by European Space Agency's (ESA) magnificent Rosetta spacecraft that will be orbiting and following the comet as it gets closer to the Sun this year.

I have always tried to visually see (and photograph) every comet I could and the short list (like my memory) is as follows: 
IRAS
Hale Bopp
Hyakutake
Panstarrs
Lovejoy 

But when you work, have a family and lots of commitments it is tough to see them all. I missed   :-(   the northern hemisphere comet classics of Ikeya-Seki and West due to school and being in the Navy.

Comet ISON in 2013 was a real joy to follow on the Internet as was Comet Siding SPring that flew so close to Mars last October.

But I think it is Rosetta that has really showed us how insanely complex and wonderful these remnants of the beginning of our solar system are. They truly are worlds unto themselves.

Sky Guy in VA EAGERLY Awaiting The Next BRIGHT Comet

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Moon Video From ESA

Hey Space Placers!

Sorry I have been out of touch the past few days but a dear, dear friend has entered hospice and it has been hard.

It was great to see this WONDERFUL video from the European Space Agency (ESA) about the past, present and future exploration of the Moon.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, January 17, 2015

3 Simultaneous Views of Comet Lovejoy

Hey Space Placers!

Come Lovejoy is at its best right now in the Northern Hemisphere and will be for the next several days as the Moon is out of the sky and the comet is riding high in the sky.

These pics were taken at the same time on 1-15-15 using a 200 mm telephoto, a 3 inch refractor and a 10 inch reflector. Some nice detail in the tail; sky had a thin haze but still showed the comet.

I hope you enjoy them.

Check here on how to see the comet for yourself.





Sky Guy in VA

Friday, January 16, 2015

2014 Warmest Year On Record

Hey Space Placers!

Read the report on 2014, the warmest year on record and see the accompanying video.

World-wide temperature keeps on increasing and probably won't decrease in our collective lifetime.

Sky Guy in VA