Saturday, September 26, 2020

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON TONIGHT (SEPTEMBER 26)

 Hey Space Placers!

Tonight is INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON .

Check the website to see if there is and event you would like to participate in.

At the very least make sure you go outside and look at the Moon. If you have binoculars or a small telescope get them out to get a better view.

Humanity is preparing to send people back to the Moon to STAY this time. Think of the Moon as the eighth continent for us to explore and colonize.

I'll be looking if the clouds allow!

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, September 25, 2020

SO U WANNA' BE A STAR GAZER!?

 Hey, Space Placers!

Need a change? Do you spend ANY time looking at the night sky?

Here are two articles that will get you to thinking about becoming a star gazer from the comfort of your home as well as going mobile.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/car-camping-roofnest-tent-/2020/09/24/744f09c2-f863-11ea-89e3-4b9efa36dc64_story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/urban-stargazing-beginners-guide/2020/09/24/e5acb03c-f8f5-11ea-89e3-4b9efa36dc64_story.html

The beauty of star gazing is that it requires nothing but your eyes. Even New York City dwellers can see the Moon, planets and brighter stars.

Heed the recommendation of using binoculars as they can be used for other things and make night time viewing so much more enjoyable and provide greater detail.

My prediction is that you will enjoy this celestial pursuit and very possibly make it a lifelong enjoyment.

Clear Skies!

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, September 24, 2020

LISTEN, YES LISTEN, TO OUR MILKY WAY

Hey  Space Placers!

Get the headphones out or tune up the volume to LISTEN to sounds from our Milky Way Galaxy.

Get the background on how this works as well as the objects who are creating the sounds. 

Then get comfortable, turn out the lights and listen to these celestial sounds. 

I found them to be quite calming and amazing. A perfect offset to daily life.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

LOSE YOURSELF IN THE SKY......

 Hey, Space Placers!

Happy 1st day of Fall 2020. 

Here was the last night of Summer 2020:


And the last Summer 2020 sunrise today:



Now lose yourself in starstuff:


SkyGuy in VA

Monday, September 21, 2020

SKY VIEWING ALERT!!!!!! FALL BEGINS 9/22/20

 Hey Space Placers!!!!

FALL LEAVES, ZODIACAL LIGHT, VENUS AND MILKY WAY
Greg Redfern

Despite the year that is 2020 here on Earth, Fall officially arrives September 22nd at 9:31 a.m. EDT. Astronomically speaking this is the date and time of the Autumnal Equinox  https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-september-equinox?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=c01b9db2e4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-c01b9db2e4-394691157     , the precise moment when the Sun is seen directly overhead at noon at the Earth’s equator. 


Both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres will have almost equal amounts of daylight and night as the Sun rises due East and sets due West everywhere on the planet except for the poles. Seen from space  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=52248   the Earth is equally illuminated by the Sun. All of this is repeated during the Vernal Equinox which marks the arrival of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere around March 21st.


The Earth’s seasons - Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer - are caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun and the 23 1/2 degree tilt of our planet’s axis. This causes the amount of sunlight falling on the Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres to constantly change. The two hemispheres are always opposite in their seasons - our Fall is their Spring while our Summer is their Winter.


If you are outside your residence at sunrise on Tuesday, take note of where the Sun rises - that is due East. Every morning at sunrise after the Vernal (Fall) Equinox you will notice that the Sun is moving a little bit to the right, or towards the South at sunrise. This will continue until the Sun reaches a point on the horizon that marks its farthest point South - which marks the first day of Winter and the shortest amount of daylight for the year - the Winter Solstice. The Sun will start to move to the left or North on the horizon and the amount of sunlight will increase until around June 21st, the Summer Solstice, the greatest amount of daylight for the year. Then the season cycle begins anew with the Sun heading South on the horizon.


If you plan on going out to see sunrise do so while it is still somewhat dark to see beautiful and bright Venus in the East. In the southeast mighty Orion the Hunter and other winter constellations are easily visible.


Also visible now in the hours before sunrise in the East is the Zodiacal Light   https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-zodiacal-light-or-false-dawn?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=c01b9db2e4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-c01b9db2e4-394691157    You will need a dark sky site such as Shenandoah National Park https://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm and the Moon out of the sky to see the alluring Zodiacal Light. If you plan on going to SNP you can get updates on the Fall colors using the Park’s website.


The arrival of Fall means that the Sun is getting lower in the sky each day at noon and the nights are growing longer and cooler. Our trees will soon begin to take on the beautiful colors of Fall and the air will have that wonderful “earthy” smell that can only happen at this time of year.


The longer nights allow us to better enjoy the night sky too. After sunset three planets awaits our gaze. In the South bright Jupiter can be easily viewed with dimmer Saturn just to its left. The planetary duo remain visible until they set hours later in the southwest.


Dominating the skies in the East at about 9 p.m. is very bright and orangish colored Mars - you can’t miss it. On September 29th it will be the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. The Earth and Mars are approaching one another and will be at their closest October 6th. October 13th Mars will be directly opposite the Sun and will rise at sunset in the East and be visible all night. In amateur telescopes Mars is QUITE the view as you can see in my photograph taken with my telescope.



MARS IN 2018

Greg Redfern


If you love the Moon be sure to check out the International Observe the Moon Night (IOMN) https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon-night/about/overview/    that takes place on September 26th. See if there is a live or virtual event that you can participate in. IOMN is held every year at various time to celebrate Earth’s celestial companion.


Enjoy the clean, crisp air of Fall and the lengthening nights. Breathe deep while you gaze skyward to see the stars - you’ll be glad you did.


Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, September 20, 2020

READ ABOUT OUR UNIVERSE'S ORIGINS

 Hey, Space Placers!

Here is a VERY GOOD ARTICLE that explains what we do and do not know about the origin of our Universe.

We have learned much and discovered some pretty amazing things about our Universe.

You should follow Ethan on Twitter to stay up on his excellent articles.

Read his article and then go out at night to see the Moon, stars and visible planets. Contemplate what you have read and admire the celestial vista you are made from and part of.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, September 18, 2020

SOLAR CYCLE 25 IS HERE AND CONGRESS FINALLY PASSES SPACE WEATHER BILL

 Hey Space Placers!

The Sun, our star, is officially in Solar Cycle 25. What exactly that means is explained here.

Read about what astronomers think this cycle will look like.

I expect to see and photograph more susnpots and prominences in the years to come and share them with you.

Did you know that our star powers Earth's weather as well as weather in space?

In a very important development that is directly related to our star, Congress FINALLY passed A MUCH NEEDED Space Weather Bill. There is real weather in our solar system that is generated by the Sun that DIRECTLY affects us here on Earth and out in space. Space Weather can disrupt our power grids, communications, air and space travel. The bill lays out roles and responsibilities and will hopefully work to protect us from severe space weather. See NOAA's Space Weather website for more information.

If you are a weather enthusiast here on Earth, you may want to tune into NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center for daily forecasts and current conditions. Then you will have ALL the weather bases covered. 

Sky Guy in VA