Monday, October 26, 2020

LUNAR SUNLIT SURFACE WATER CONFIRMED

 Hey Space Placers!

NASA announced today that water molecules were confirmed to exist in the sunlit lunar surface surrounding Clavius Crater.



CLAVIUS CRATER, TOP; TYCHO CRATER, BOTTOM

Credit: Greg Redfern

We have known for years that lunar water in large quantities exist in the permanently dark regions of lunar craters located at the Moon's poles. This water is probably in the form of water ice mixed into the lunar soil.

Future lunar orbital and rover missions will be able to determine the precise makeup and amount of water that exists. This will be essential to humans being able to harvest this valuable lunar resource for water, breathable oxygen and rocket fuel.

As humans return to the Moon to STAY this time we are going to learn more and more about Earth's "Eighth Continent" and how we can survive and THRIVE there for the benefit of humankind.

Sky Guy in VA 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

BENNU GOT TAGGED; PBS TV TO AIR SHOW ON OSIRIS-REX

 Hey, Space Placers!

Bennu got TAGGED by OSIRIS-Rex yesterday (10/20) right on time.  It will take some time to determine if the spacecraft was successful in collecting at least 60 grams of Bennu material. If necessary, Bennu could be TAGGED again. We'll have to wait for the results.

PBS TV will be broadcasting/streaming a show about the mission tonight, 10/21/20, at 9 p.m. EDT. 

You might want to tune in as, "TOUCHING THE ASTEROID, NOVA takes viewers inside the mission as the team embarks on a daunting quest that pushes the boundaries of what robotic spacecrafts like OSIRIS-REx are capable of. The film offers a clear-eyed look into the painstaking work that goes into answering, piece by piece, big questions about how our solar system was made and how life on Earth began. TOUCHING THE ASTEROID features interviews with key members of the OSIRIS-REx team, including project lead Dante Lauretta, Deputy Project Manager Mike Moreau, and Image Processing Lead  Scientist Daniella DellaGiustina, as well as other leaders in astronomy and planetary science like Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director for the Franklin Institute Derrick Pitts."

Sky Guy In VA



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT!!!!! NASA TAGS ASTEROID & ORIONID METEOR SHOWER

 Hey Space Placers!

DOUBLE Sky Guy ALERT!

Today, October 20th, NASA is going to "TAG" (Touch And Go) an asteroid called Bennu to collect pristine samples from its surface and return them to Earth. And you can tune in to get the latest:

"NASA will broadcast coverage of a first for the agency as its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission attempts to collect a sample of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:12 p.m. EDT."

You can also get updates on Twitter https://twitter.com/OSIRISREx.

Live coverage will begin at 5 p.m. EDT on NASA TV and its website.

After you have gotten revved up with watching this mission get some rest and watch pieces of Comet Halley impact our atmosphere at 41 miles a second!

The ongoing Orionid Meteor Shower is predicted to peak tomorrow morning, October 21st.

The Moon will be out of the sky so from a dark sky site you might see 10-20 meteors an hour.

Here are some meteor shower watching tips. The main thing is to be warm and comfortable so bundle up and have a good lounge chair.

Enjoy this space duet.....

Sky Guy in VAS

Monday, October 19, 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

ICYMI MARS OPPOSITION 2020 PICS

 Hey Space Placers!!!

I hope you were able to see Mars last night at opposition. 

If not, fret not as here are some pics I took at Shenandoah National Park's Old Rag Mountain and Big Meadows.

BTW Mars will be in the East after sunset and remain very bright for the next few weeks so take a peek once in awhile.






Oh, and here is what our galaxy's galactic center looked like last night from Big Meadows - TBT to B&W.



Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT!!!! MARS AT OPPOSITION TONIGHT 10-13-20

 Hey Space Placers!

If you haven't seen Mars yet or you have and can't get enough of the Red Planet, tonight is your night!

Mars will rise at sunset and be visible all night as the planet is at opposition, or directly opposite the Sun. Mars will rise in the East at about sunset and be very bright, in fact it is the brightest object in the night sky until the Moon and Venus rise in the hours before dawn.

Mars at closest approach 2020
Greg Redfern


                                                                            Mars In My Telescope 2020
                                                                                 Greg Redfern

Be sure to try and image Mars with whatever camera you have. It is bright enough so that smartphones can image the Red Planet against the background stars.

You can tune in to some Mars related events on the Internet also.    Lowell Observatory is famous in "Martian history" as it was founded primarily to observe Mars and led to the belief that canals and life existed on the Red Planet. This of course spawned many science fiction classics.

NASA's Perseverance Rover is enroute to Mars and will attempt a landing in Feb. 2021. The Rover will be looking for evidence of past life on Mars.

This will be our best viewing of Mars until 2035, so make sure you take a peek tonight!

Sky Guy inVA