Thursday, February 11, 2016

Einstein Was Right (Again)

Hey Space Placers!

History was made today as it was announced that a prediction in 1916 by Albert Einstein that gravitational waves should exist,  has been proven correct.

I am at the airport writing this and will give you some links to read.

But this is HUGE as we now have a new way to observe and HEAR the Universe......and the technology to make this all happen is truly mind boggling.

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=137628

https://www.advancedligo.mit.edu

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2016/february/scientists-celebrate-advances-021116.html

We also now KNOW that black holes exist!!!!

There are new discoveries in the Universe that await us due to gravitational wave astronomy coming of age as of today.

Thank you Professor Einstein and the thousand+ scientists, engineers and NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (which funded the LIGO project decades ago) for making this possible.

BTW the gravitational wave signal came from the southern skies and near the Magellanic Clouds!!!

Sky Guy Headed to Australia

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Recent Space Rock News

Hey Space Placers!

Check out my column on recent space rock news at WTOP.

Getting ready to return to Australia aboard Azamara Quest this Saturday to travel to the Great Barrier Reef. I hope to share much with you during those 17 days.

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sky Shots From Down Under

Hey Space Placers!

Here are my best sky shots from AU & NZ on Oceania Cruises' Nautica and Azamara Cruises' Azamara Quest. The pics were all taken while the ships were underway and are from the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. I covered over 12K nautical miles from Durban South Africa to Singapore on the Nautica and Sydney AU to Auckland, NZ on Azamara Quest.

I am returning to Azamara Quest soon to sail from Sydney, AU to Bali. I hope the skies will be clear for more sky shots to share with you.

Venus & Milky Way in Tasman Sea 
Milky Way, Lightning & Large Magellanic Cloud In Indian Ocean

Milky Way Through  (l-r) Canopus & Sirius & Orion - Notice Pinkish Band of Barnard's Loop
Above Orion

Large & Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC-SMC) & Achenar

Southern Cross Above Lightning & Thunderheads

Close Up Of Eta Carinae (Pinkish area) & Milky Way

Fishing Boats Below Orion in the Straits of Malacca

Milky Way Through Sirius & Canis Major

Milky Way W/ "Southern Pleiades (right of center) & Eta Carinae

Venus Dead Ahead in Indian Ocean

Last Quarter Moonset In Indian Ocean

LMC & Canopus

Milky Way & LMC SMC 1

Milky Way & LMC SMC 2


I hope you enjoyed these. It was difficult to get these shots on a brightly lit and moving cruise ship w/ significant winds over the deck.

Sky Guy in VA For A Bit

Friday, February 5, 2016

Ceres Video

Hey Space Placers!

Been awhile, I know.

Just got back from Australian and New Zealand, and will be returning next week for a 17-day voyage on Azamara Quest (AQ) from Sydney to Bali. I am really hoping for some clear skies as clouds dogged AQ for weeks.

The dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt has been observed by NASA's Dawn spacecraft for some time. I have blogged on the mysterious white spots which appear to be salt deposits.

NASA has put together a nifty video of Ceres that is worth seeing. It truly contrasts to the appearance of another dwarf planet, Pluto, especially when it comes to the abundance of craters on the former when compared to the latter.

I'll be posting some down under pics tomorrow.

Sky Guy Back in VA

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT - All 5 Visible Planets in Pre-dawn Sky

Hey Space Placers!

Hello from the Tasman Sea as I am heading towards New Zealand aboard Azamara Quest.

We are enjoying some 20 foot seas over 4,500 meters of water while the US Northeast, including Central Virginia prepares for a BLIZZARD! Actually wish I could be there to experience this major snow weather event.

When the skies clear be sure to start watching the predawn sky to see all 5 visible planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. It has been a decade since this happened so I highly recommend that you get out to see it. It will be best to wait for Mercury to get higher in the pre-dawn sky.


Please be careful if you are in this weather event!


Sky Guy in Tasman Sea

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

G'day From Sydney, Australia!

Hey Space Placers!

I have my new computer - YAY - and hope to be back on line regularly now.

I am in Sydney, Australia waiting to get onboard Azamara Quest for a 16 day cruise with 6 lectures.

I will be speaking tonight at Sydney Observatory http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/sydney-city-skywatchers/ on NASA's manned spaceflight efforts.

I will be posting some of the astropics I took while at sea on Nautica so stay tuned.

Sky Guy in AU

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!!! 1/9/16 Venus & Saturn Predawn Sky

Hey Space Placers!

Hello from Singapore!

I disembark today from my 26-day voyage from South Africa. I have a Top Ten Astropics that I will post when I can - my computer died on this voyage. These pics are going into the cruise DVD as well.

Be sure to look at Venus and Saturn in the predawn Eastern sky the next few days as the two will be moving to their closest on 1/9/16. This will be a pretty sight and if you have a telescope both planets will show up in a medium power eyepiece.

Sky Guy Headed Back to VA