Sunday, February 5, 2023


Hey, Space Placers! 

Did you know NASA has lunar simulating "sandboxes"? 

These high fidelity lunar surface simulations are being used to test hardware and lunar lighting conditions.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, February 3, 2023


 Hey, Space Placers!

Comet 2022 E3 In My Unistellar Telescope 1/30/23

At the midpoint of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer down under there is much to see so

Check out the sky for the upcoming week!

Sky Guy In COLD VA

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Groundhog Day is an Astronomy Holiday

Hey Space Placers!

The Arc Of the Big Dipper (R) Points To Arcturus (L)
Greg Redfern Unistellar Nocturne App

Who's ready for Spring? 

Today, Feb.2, is Groundhog Day and  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter. 

In reality Groundhog Day it is an astronomical holiday that marks the half-way point from Winter to Spring.

The late night and pre-dawn sky is already showing the stars of Spring with the beautiful and bright Spring star Arcturus peeking above the NE-E horizon just after 11 PM for my 38 degree N latitude.

Another stellar indicator for Spring is Scorpius which is up in the SE before dawn.

Regardless of winter, enjoy seeing the night sky and look for these most welcome stellar signs of Spring!

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, January 31, 2023


 Hey, Space Placers!

Comet 2022 E3 Imaged 1/30/23 with Unistellar eVscope 2

Credit: Greg Redfern

If you have been following the news you probably heard about the "Green Comet" or "Comet Not Seen In 50,000 Years".

I FINALLY got to see it and image it last night as between cruises and lousy weather it has avoided me. It is a beautiful comet but it is NOT easily visible to the unaided eye, especially with the Moon approaching Full this week.

Here are several links you can read all about the comet, including live webcast links:




If you have binoculars or a telescope try to see this truly "visible only once in a lifetime" comet.

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, January 30, 2023


 Hey, Space Placers!

Moon passing Mars, Jan. 29-30-31, 2023

Credit: Sky&

If it is clear where you live don't miss the meeting of the Waxing Gibbous Moon and Mars in the sky tonight!

Depending on where you live, you will either see Mars disappear behind the Moon - called an occultation - or you will see the two ver close together.

Here are the details from

Moon occults Mars. Tonight the Moon's dark limb will occult (cover) Mars for observers south of a line running from south Georgia across the U.S. through central California. Here's a Google mapof the line, showing the width of the partial-occultation zone along it, courtesy of Derek Breit and David Dunham of the International Occultation Timing Association. Zoom in.

The occultation's southern limit crosses northwestern South America. Skywatchers elsewhere in North and South America will see the Moon perform a near miss of Mars. 

Here are IOTA's timetables. The first two tables are very long; the first gives the time for Mars's disappearance, the second for its reappearance from behind the Moon's bright limb. Scroll to be sure you're using the right table; watch for the new heading as you scroll. The first two letters in each entry are the country abbreviation ("CA" is Canada, not California). The times are given in UT (GMT), which is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, 6 ahead of CST, 7 ahead of MST, and 8 ahead of PST.

For instance: At Los Angeles, Mars disappears at 8:35 p.m. PST tonight when the Moon is 76° above the horizon, then reappears at 9:29 p.m. PST when the Moon is 65° high.

Want more info? Check it out here.


Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Stars Disappear Before Our Eyes, Citizen Scientists Report

Hey, Space Placers!

Observations by citizen scientists worldwide reveals we are losing the ability to see the stars due to light pollution faster than previously thought.

This graphic illustrates how the greater the amount of light pollution, and therefore skyglow, the fewer the stars that are visible. The numeric scale is similar to the one used by Globe at Night participants. 

Credit:   NOIRLab/NSF/AURA, P. Marenfeld

The details of the study can be read here.

Sky Guy in VA


Hey, Space Placers!

How to build a moon clock: Diagram showing three atomic clocks on the moon that could be used to determine lunar time.


Humanity os going back to the Moon, to stay this time....

And speaking of time, how will we measure and love by time on the Moon?

Here is a fascinating article about this very subject. 

Sky Guy in VA