Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT: GEMINIDS & A COMET

Hey Space Placers!

We've got the Geminid Meteor Shower and Comet 46P/Wirtanen in the sky right now. The Geminids should provide a really good sky show and the comet is visible in dark skies.

Here are my pics of the comet from a suburban location in Central Virginia taken last night. The green color and the movement of the comet against the background stars can be easily seen.




I hope your skies are clear to see these two celestial spectacles.....

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, December 10, 2018

VOYAGER 2 IN INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Hey Space Placers!

Voyager 2 is beyond the realm of the Sun. Voyager 2 joins its sister ship, Voyager 1, beyond the Sun.

Artist's concept of Voyager 2 with 9 facts listed around it
Artist's concept of Voyager 2 with 9 facts listed around it. Image
Credit: NASA 

Both spacecraft, even though they are traveling through interstellar space, HAVE NOT left the solar system. Our solar system extends at least 1 light year, 6 trillion miles, out into the Milky Way Galaxy.  To travel to the realm beyond the solar system is at least 30,000 years in the future! 

Space is a VERY BIG PLACE - even our solar system.

The Voyagers should be able to continue sending back data for years to come.

Well done, Voyagers.......well done.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018

CHINA IS HEADED FOR THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

Hey Space Placers!

China has successfully launched their Chang'e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon.

Chang'e-4 rover
The Chang'e-4 rover will explore a huge impact basin on the far side
Credit: CNSA
Hopefully China will keep us apprised on the mission's progress AND share data with the world.

Sky Guy in VA


Thursday, December 6, 2018

BENNU, ET AL

Hey Space Placers!

BENNU GIF
NASA
WOW! I just can't help but look at all of the different types of rocks that are on this asteroid - it's like looking at a meteorite collection on display! The lack of impact craters and the appearance of BENNU reminds me of a rubble/sand pile - it just absorbs everything that it encounters. NASA's OSIRIS-Rex arrived at the space rock on 12/3/18 and will settle into orbit to start its mission of discovery - can hardly wait.

NASA JPL had another success with the InSight landing 11/26/18. We'll learn much about the interior of Mars - and the other rocky planets of our solar system - through this mission.

Russia launched a new crew to ISS which reported aboard 12/3/18.  This was a major accomplishment following the Soyuz mishap that destroyed the launch vehicle just a few months ago.

SpaceX also had a launch of a resupply mission to ISS on 12/5/18......

Busy times at ISS and space in general.

Tomorrow (US time) the Chinese are expected to launch their Chang'e 4 mission to the lunar far side for a landing. I'll be following that!

Sky Guy in VA

P.S.
On a blog policy note, any 'Comments' submitted that are 'UNKNOWN' are treated as 'Spam' and will be removed. Without a name attached it is not comment.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT DECEMBER 2018: COMET 46P/WIRTANEN

Hey Space Placers!

There is a comet that may be visible to the unaided eye from dark sky sites in the South after dark. It covers an area of the sky as large as the Full Moon but is dim. This comet does not have a huge tail or  is as conspicuous as Hale-Bopp in 1997.

It is still worth looking for in the next few days before the Moon returns to the evening sky and makes the sky bright thereby negating being able to probably see it.

I have had cloudy weather for the past 2 weeks so I am hoping for a chance to see & photograph it.

Here are two links for you to read about 46P and both have finder charts to help you zero in on this green visitor.

http://spaceweather.com

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/comet-46p-wirtanen-approaches-earth/?k=X2eLNeXTAu0pdXJ%2B6SJFkgjffbPJdBb2myBdgtfo4Cg%3D&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=sky-jma-nl-181130%0D&cid=DM88427&bid=879599199

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, December 2, 2018

SKY GUY ALERT 12/3/18: NASA Provides Live Coverage of Spacecraft Arrival at Asteroid

Hey Space Placers!

As stated by the NASA Press Release, "NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is scheduled to rendezvous with its targeted asteroid, Bennu, on Monday, Dec. 3 at approximately noon EST."

Tomorrow, 12/3/18, NASA will air a live event from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST on NASA Television, Facebook LiveUstreamYouTube and the agency's website. NASA TV also will air an arrival preview program starting at 11:15 a.m. EST.


This is an EXCITING mission to the asteroid belt that will give us an up close and personal view of this space rock we call Bennu. We will also be looking forward to the return sample scheduled to arrive in September 2023.


Sky Guy in VA