Friday, October 24, 2014

Best Artistic Rendition of a Black Hole?

Hola From Malaga, Spain Space Placers!

Lots of walking amid ruins, castles and Picasso today.

But here is an artistic rendering, perhaps the most accurate ever of a black hole that was done for the upcoming movie Interstellar - see my previous blog. 




The amazing past of it is that Kip Thorne, a black hole expert is the moving force behind this artistic rendering - AND he claims that he will be able to publish two science papers because of it.

The Movie opens in two weeks.

Sky Guy Awaiting Sea Dream I in Malaga, Spain

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hubble Space Telescope Sees Comet Siding Spring & Mars

Hey Space Placers!

Greetings from beautiful Malaga, Spain. A truly gorgeous city….

From NASA a truly INCREDIBLE pic:


The News Release:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: COMET SIDING SPRING SEEN NEXT TO MARS

This composite NASA Hubble Space Telescope Image captures the positions of comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage of a comet by the Red Planet, which happened at 2:28 p.m. EDT October 19, 2014. The comet passed by Mars at approximately 87,000 miles (about one-third of the distance between Earth and the Moon). At that time, the comet and Mars were approximately 149 million miles from Earth.

The comet image shown here is a composite of Hubble exposures taken between Oct. 18, 8:06 a.m. EDT to Oct. 19, 11:17 p.m. EDT. Hubble took a separate photograph of Mars at 10:37 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18.

The Mars and comet images have been added together to create a single picture to illustrate the angular separation, or distance, between the comet and Mars at closest approach. The separation is approximately 1.5 arc minutes, or one-twentieth of the angular diameter of the full Moon. The background star field in this composite image is synthesized from ground-based telescope data provided by the Palomar Digital Sky Survey, which has been reprocessed to approximate Hubble’s resolution. The solid icy comet nucleus is too small to be resolved in the Hubble picture. The comet’s bright coma, a diffuse cloud of dust enshrouding the nucleus, and a dusty tail, are clearly visible.

This is a composite image because a single exposure of the stellar background, comet Siding Spring, and Mars would be problematic. Mars is actually 10,000 times brighter than the comet, and so could not be properly exposed to show detail in the Red Planet. The comet and Mars were also moving with respect to each other and so could not be imaged simultaneously in one exposure without one of the objects being motion blurred. Hubble had to be programmed to track on the comet and Mars separately in two different observations.

The images were taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.

Touring tomorrow before Sea Dream I arrives on Saturday.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2001: A Space Odyssey Coming to the UK - Interstellar Promo

Hey Space Placers!

Wish I was going to be in the UK in the near future as there is going to be a limited release of Stanley Kubrick's immortal 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is being done in advance of the highly anticipated (and highly praised) movie Interstellar directed by Christopher Nolan.

2001 is my all time space scifi flick because of the grandeur of the sets, story and music. I saw 2001 when it premiered in 1968 at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, CA. Pretty amazing memory even after all these years.

2001 can to this day, 40+ years after its release, hold its own against CGI and special effects. The low Earth orbit (LEO) Moon, Jupiter, spacecraft sets still astound and spell bound viewers. It is a classic that will never be surpassed.

The movie is best seen now in BluRay on a large screen TV in a PITCH BLACK room with surround sound speakers. Still gives me goose bumps to see the Moon from orbit and on the surface with the beautiful music and sets.

Interstellar looks amazing and I love Matthew McConaughey and Hans Zimmer, so……….

I will be there to see it I hope on opening night 11/7/14.

I am heading to sea again aboard Sea Dream I  so I may be out of touch at times.

Sky Guy Heading To Sea

Monday, October 20, 2014

Comet Siding Spring Post-Mars Encounter

Hey Space Placers!

Comet Siding Spring - see my last blog - passed Mars yesterday and all 3 NASA orbiting spacecraft are A-OK. I think ESA and India's orbiters are as well as I have not heard anything contrary.

Here is a NEAT pic of the comet and Mars from the live Slooh coverage:


And a beauty of a pic taken by Nick Howes and the  observatory group:



It will take a week or so for the data and pics obtained by the orbiting spacecraft and the two rovers on the surface to be downloaded and analyzed. I am sure there will be some good stuff from this historic event.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sky Guy INTERNET ALERT Comet Siding Spring & Mars Encounter 10/19/14

Hey Space Placers!

Here's my story on the close encounter tomorrow between Mars and Comet Siding Spring.

Sky Guy in VA

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT Orionid Meteor Shower

Hey Space Placers!

If it is clear the next few mornings before dawn get out and look for the Orionid Meteor Shower. These cometary particles that hit the Earth's atmosphere at an amazing velocity of 148,000 mph are from  Halley's Comet.

The best time to see thew bright Orionids is about an hour or two before dawn when the bright stars and constellations of winter are in the sky. You can see where to look on this sky chart from NASA, Dr. Tony Phillips:



The shower is underway now with the peak predicted for Tuesday morning before dawn. The predicted peak is about 20 meteors an hour.

Get more details here. Hope you have clear skies and a good show.

Sky Guy in VA


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rosetta Mission Trailer

Hey Space Placers!

Check out the Rosetta mission trailer (see my previous blogs on the mission) done by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). It is a teaser for the upcoming landing on Comet 67/P of the Philae lander on November 12th. There is supposed to be an 11-minute film coming out as well.

Better than sic-fi because it is real and is going to be something to see….

Sky Guy in VA