Monday, July 28, 2014

SKy Guy Viewing ALERT - Start of 2014 Perseid Meteor Shower

Hey Space Placers!

Although the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower is not until the night of August 12-13, the shower has officially started.

Because the Moon will be just past full this year at the peak it is a good idea to get outside and watch for Perseids in the coming days. You can get some tips on how to watch here.

I will be on the road for the next 10 days and will try to blog when I can. I will be visiting NASA to see the construction facilities where the Space Launch System is being built - you will be there as well as I share pics & insights with you.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, July 27, 2014

NASA Preparing For Comet Flyby Of Mars

Hey Space Placers!

October 19, 2014.

Mark the date for some solar system history - the closest known approach of a comet to a planet. A distinction that has to be made however for this record involves Comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 which IMPACTED Jupiter in 1994 following its death dive into Jupiter's cloud tops.  Comets have also passed very close to the Sun and have impacted our star.

Comet Siding Spring will pass a mere 82,000 miles above the surface of Mars and it should be quite a show to see.

NASA has three orbiting spacecraft and two rovers on the surface and wants to protect these priceless assets from the affects of particles from the comet traveling at a blazing 35 miles per second. A mere speck of cometary dust at that speed spells BOOM & DOOM for anything it hits in space.

To avoid this cometary onslaught  NASA has taken steps to protect Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey and soon to arrive MAVEN by adjusting their orbits. The tricky part to all of this is that at the same time NASA wants to protect its orbiters it also wants to be able to use them to make scientific observations of this very rare opportunity.

The two rovers, Opportunity and Curiosity should be OK due to the Martian atmosphere. They will certainly have a ring side seat and so will we as an array of telescopes and spacecraft provide us images and data.

Stay tuned.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Magical Night on the Mountain

Hey Space Placers!

It is a place where the smell of campfires dances on the same winds that move the trees in a melody you never hear down below. The quiet is piercing in its silence while the stars meet the distant horizon in a melding unique to this magical place.

I am speaking of our very own Shenandoah National Park (SNP) - an oasis of nature a scant 75 miles from downtown D.C. and comprised of 200,000 acres of nature.

I was in the Park on Friday to begin a new activity called “Let’s Talk About Space in the Shenandoah”. It is a an effort to bring the wonders of the Universe to SNP guests by offering space related presentations followed by a skywatching session in Big Meadow.

My first presentation was on “The Sky Is Falling: Space Rocks and You”. All of the seats were taken by 9 p.m. and there were guests who stood the whole 35 minutes as I discussed, asteroids, comets, impacts and finished up by showing my real space rocks - meteorites - including specimens from the Moon, Mars and Chelyabinsk, Russia - the big fireball that exploded last year.

The audience enjoyed touching the 4.5 billion year old asteroid pieces as well as seeing a piece of Mars and the Moon. The Chelyabinsk specimen is accompanied by a piece of broken greenhouse glass - part of the million square meters of glass destroyed by the Chelyabinsk fireball.

The sky was clear for our group as we met at Big Meadows parking lot. The summer Milky Way - one of the spiral arms of our galaxy - was visible in all of its splendor from the south all the way across the sky to the Northeast. It was so clear that the dust clouds that are part of this spiral arm were clearly visible.

For almost two hours our group looked at the sky and learned about stars, constellations, space missions to the planets Saturn and Mars which were visible and we saw some shooting stars (meteors) and satellites. Way cool.

Families and couples from New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia made up our skywatching crowd. People reveled in the beauty they were seeing and what they were learning. Luckily three amateur astronomers had their telescopes out so people could see the rings of Saturn and a variety of other sky objects.

Kids asked great questions. A father told me his 15 year-old daughter wants to be an astrophysicist. A young girl with her parents eloquently explained to me that when she was 8 she saw a big fireball in SNP but now that she was 11 she knew of such things and loved to watch the sky.

A couple I met was spending their 30th wedding anniversary at SNP and he was taking pictures of the sky and our group. He is supposed to send me copies so I can share - I was never able to get my camera out as it started getting cloudy around midnight when we called it quits.

I hope you come to SNP to see Mother Nature in a way that is refreshing and down right cleansing to the soul. The Park comes alive on a clear night and even weather has a magic to it up here.

I invite you to join me in “Let’s Talk About Space in the Shenandoah” as there will be 7 more presentations. Our next get together is August 12th, the night of the Perseid Meteor Shower; my presentation will be on our very own “Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater.

Come up and stay a few days at SNP. You will be glad you did, believe me.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rosetta Mission's Comet Is SOMETHING To See

Hey Space Placers!

WIth the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft closing in on its target comet, 67P (for short), the view is getting better and better.    The latest images

and   movie 

clearly show a comet nucleus - the solid dirty snowball heart of a comet - that looks like two distinct bodies joined together.

The views of the comet will get better literally day by day as Rosetta closes in on its historic rendezvous with the comet in August and the subsequent landing of the Philae spacecraft.

Stay tuned - this will be something to see in the months ahead.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 24, 2014

More On The Sun's Big Miss

Hey Space Placers!

NASA just released more information on the BIG solar storm of 2012.  You know, the one that would have knocked us back into the dark ages and we still would not have recovered by now.

I have written previous blogs on this topic and have included them for background:

It turns out that we have a predicted 12% chance of another major solar storm within the next 10 years. It also appears that these mega-solar storms are the result of multiple events occurring on the Sun.

Here is the technical paper if you want to read it.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!!! 7-24-4 Celestial Trio In Pre-Dawn Sky

Hey Space Placers!

The pre-dawn sky of 7-24-14 has a nice celestial trio in store for us - bright Venus, the waning crescent Moon with Earthshine (sunlight reflecting off our planet's clouds and oceans to give the unlit portion of the Moon a beautiful tint) close by and golden-yellow Mercury below and to the left.

Sky Safari Plus Chart
You will need a clear view of the east and should be out looking at about 5:15 a.m. local. See my previous blog for tips on finding and seeing Mercury. Mercury will be in the glare of the Sun soon so this is a good time to see the planet nearest the Sun before it is gone.

Don't forget to try your hand at taking some pics!

Here's to clear skies!

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sky Guy INTERNET ALERT! - 7-22-114 - 3 PM EDT Chandra @ 15

Hey Space Placers!

Joint the Google Plus Hangout at 3 pm today, 7-22-14 to celebrate 15 years with NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Here are more details on Chandra.


Sky Guy in VA

Attention Mars Lovers - Sharpest Mars Map

Hey Space Placers!

Now that Mars is dimming in the night sky and becoming a small view in telescopes Mars lovers need something to feed their Red Planet habit.

I've got just the thing for you.

The sharpest map of Mars has just been released to the public and it is a doozy as it shows the Martian surface in exquisite detail as you can see in this sample photograph release:

20,000 images made by a camera flown aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter were put together to make the map.

The map allows users to specify a location/position of interest and really drill down to see details. There are coverage gaps, especially at 40 degrees to 90 degrees latitude N & S, but the remaining coverage is excellent.

As stated in their joint news release, "The new Mars map was developed by the Geological Survey's Robin Fergason at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, in collaboration with researchers at ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility. The work reflects the close ties between space exploration efforts at Arizona universities and the U.S. Geological Survey."

This map will be used to help NASA select the landing site for its 2020 mission to Mars.

Enjoy your arm chair exploration of Mars.

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lunar Pits May Be Key To Lunar Habitats

Hey Space Placers!

With the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing fresh on our minds it seems appropriate to share this story about lunar pits - holes in the Moon's surface that extend underground.

We know of over 200 such features on the Moon and the NASA pic below shows one in great detail that is in the Sea of Tranquility, the same area that Apollo 11 landed in.

These pits would be of great value to house facilities and protect them from solar radiation and meteorite impacts. They would also be places of great interest to explore.

The Moon will play a great part in humanity's space efforts because it is so close and has much to offer in many ways. Science studies and experiments, mining of resources, power collection and distribution to Earth and strategic considerations are all potentially available to those on the Moon.

I am sure that China will land and keep Taikonauts there on the lunar high ground in a permanent Moon base. They have the fiscal and technical resources to do so with a political agenda that will propel them to the Moon.

I hope to see more missions to the Moon in my remaining lifetime.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, July 20, 2014

UPDATED: Apollo 11 And NASA's "Next Giant Leap"

Hey Space Placers!

WTOP Column

I hope you will tune in live to at 3:20 p.m. EDT as I discuss Apollo 11 @ 45 years AND NASA's "Next Giant Leap".

I will be posting my WTOP column when it is published and hopefully the archived segment.

45 years ago I was home in California taking color slides of CBS News coverage of the event and also looked at the Moon while Neil and Buzz were on the surface. Then waxing crescent Moon was in Virgo and Jupiter was nearby.

Here is a screen shot of the sky while Neil and Buzz were on  the lunar surface.

Sky Safari Plus
Enjoy this day and tune in to all of the celebrations.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Comet ISON's Final Hours

Hey Space Placers!

Remember ISON, the "Comet of the Century" that died last year when it got disrupted by the Sun?

Scientists have continued to study Comet ISON and have analyzed the final hours of the comet. You can read a good summary of the research and see some of the videos taken during Comet ISON's demise here.

I keep hoping we will get another grand comet to awe us in the Northern Hemisphere… has been awhile.

Sky Guy in VA

P.S. We had a GRAND time at the University of Virginia's Public Night at McCormick Observatory last night even though it was cloudy. Over 150 people - families, students - came by, heard the lecture, got to learn a lot about the 26-inch telescope and toured the exhibits. If you live near an observatory or college check to see if they have public events. They are a lot of fun, usually free and pretty interesting.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!!! 7-19-14 Venus-Mercury In Pre-Dawn Sky

Hey Space Placers!

Ever seen the planet Mercury? It's always tough to spot the planet closet to the Sun as it is never very far from the Sun.

Mercury is surprising bright to people once they actually see the golden-yellow planet and know it is Mercury. It has been said that less than 1% of humanity has seen AND recognized Mercury as a planet.

The next few days is your chance to join this exclusive club as Mercury and Venus are fairly close to one another in the pre-dawn sky. Your best chance to see the planetary pair is to find a NE horizon free of trees and buildings and use the chart below.

Sky Safari Plus Chart

Find Venus first which is bright and easy to spot. Binoculars can help you but aren't required. Once you have Venus zeroed in, look to the lower left along a slight diagonal. You should see Mercury less than a fist width from Venus.

You can start looking after 5 a.m. local and the chart show the sky in Virginia at about 5:20 a.m. local.

Try your hand at photographing the scene - a tripod and DSLR work best with fast shutter speeds.

Good luck!

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 17, 2014

UPDATED 2-for-1 With Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Hey Space Placers!

UPDATED: Be sure to check out NASA's perspective on 67/P.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission to Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67/P) is slowly cruising to a rendezvous in a few weeks. ESA mission planners expect the Rosetta spacecraft with the Philae lander to be within 100 km (60+ miles) of the comet on August 6th. Current plans are for the Philae lander to touchdown in November 2014.

But a BIG surprise greeted mission planners and all of us who follow the mission when the latest imagery showed the nucleus - the dirty snowball heart of the comet - to be not one, but apparently TWO nuclei. 

67/P is certainly unlike any cometary nucleus that has been encountered. As Rosetta gets closer each day better images will provide more information and the rendezvous will certainly be something to see - wow!

We'll have more on this mission as Rosetta/Philae get closer to 67/P.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sky Guy INTERNET ALERT!!! 7-16-14 8 P.m. EDT Tune In To Pluto Webcast

Hey Space Placers!

Check out the details for tonight's LIVE webcast from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum on New Horizons to Pluto.

Get background on the mission from my blog.

This is one you do not want to miss!

Sky Guy in VA

45 Years & Counting Apollo 11 Liftoff

Hey Space Placers!


45 years ago today was a Wednesday, just like today. At 6:32 a.m. PDT, I was taking 35mm Ektachrome 200 slides of the TV images on our color TV set of Apollo 11 lifting off for the Moon. I still have them but they are buried in the boxes that need to be opened following my move.

The Moon was 4.9% illuminated, a thin waxing crescent that rose above my Eastern horizon in California a little over an hour after liftoff.

We were tuned in to CBS News and Walter Cronkite. Walter had original Mercury Astronaut and Apollo 7 Commander Wally Schirra with him for color commentary. CBS News coverage of Apollo 11 was called "Man on the Moon" and was simply fabulous. I knew the broadcast schedule so I was tuned in whenever Man on the Moon was on.

My Mom worked for CBS and I have a very rare hard cover copy of the book CBS published in 1970 to commemorate their CBS Network coverage of Apollo 11. The dust jacket is a gray embossed rendition of the Moon that includes the Sea of Tranquility. It has screen shots of the coverage and transcripts of the narration. They are a joy to see and read even to this day.

I have searched the Internet and have found these links for you to watch, and perhaps relive or experience for the first time, the liftoff of Apollo 11.

CBS News coverage:

Time Magazine:

NASA Video:

I will have more on Apollo 11 on the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing.

Enjoy this step back in time.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Countdown to Pluto

Hey Space Placers!

Mark your calendars now - July 14, 2015. That is the day that humanity will finally visit the last planet of the solar system classification most of us grew up with - Pluto - the 9th planet.

That was the solar system as it existed when NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, managed by our very own Johns Hopkins University, launched from Earth on January 19, 2006. Just over seven months later Pluto was demoted to being a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union due to a controversial vote comprised of only 5% of eligible astronomers.

Regardless of its status Pluto is one of a class of icy, frigid and intriguing solar system bodies that we have not visited before. The best view we have gotten of Pluto is from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). That will change when New Horizons passes the "BTH Line" or Better Than Hubble view in January 2015.

Science operations for the encounter will begin April 12, 2015.

We will learn a lot about Pluto and beyond during the New Horizons mission. HST is currently looking for a new target for New Horizons to fly to after the Pluto encounter. And why not. It will be a very long time until funds become available again for a mission this far out so fly New Horizons as far as she can go and still perform science.

Check out this NASA article on the mission and the neat video.

I WILL obtain a picture of Pluto with my own telescope before the flyby so I can say I imaged Pluto before everything we knew changed. You will see it too.

The clock is ticking, 364 days to encounter.

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, July 14, 2014

Solar Energy In the Atmosphere Letting Loose in A BIG WAY!

Hey Space Placers!

The Sun drives our planet's weather and today I witnessed what happens when a lot of heat builds up and lets loose in a MAJOR thunderstorm.

The wind and rain started slowly and then MAJOR wind and rain.

In the span of just a few minutes the wind and rain completely shifted from the NW to the SE and intensified significantly, & I mean SIGNIFICANTLY.

Enjoy the pics!

The Storm Approaches - 1

The Storm Approaches - 2

The Storm Approaches - 3

Wind & Rain Bands

A Snow Swan Rides Out The Malestrom
Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sky Guy INTERNET ALERT!!! 7-14-14 Search For Alien Life Telecon

Hey Space Placers!

Tune in tomorrow, 7-14-14 at 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.EDT to hear a blue ribbon panel discuss the search for life beyond Earth.

Should be interesting as it will detail present and future observations being made by ground and space based assets.

With billions of planets in our Milky Way alone there is life out there. We have the technology now for exploring thousands of planets in our search for life and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will expand our search capability greatly.

I believe intelligent life has to exist in a Universe that is 13.7 billion years old. After all, we're here, so "somebody else" has to be out there as well.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, July 11, 2014

UPDATED Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!! 1st of 3 Consecutive "Supermoons"

Hey Space Placers!

UPDATE - MY PICS 7-12-14


This summer we will have 3 consecutive months of the Full Moon coinciding with perigee (its closest approach to the Earth for the month).

The term "Supermoon" has become a part of our media/popular vocabulary but it is not an "official" astronomical term. Generally Supermoon applies when a Full Moon and perigee occur within 24 hours of one another.

For July the Moon is Full and known as the "Full Hay Moon" on the 12th at 7:25 a.m. EDT with perigee occurring on 7-13-14 at 4:00 a.m. EDT. It is worth taking a peek at the Moon on the nights of July 11-12th and 12-13th.

The Moon will be brighter and larger due to these circumstances but it is hard for visual and casual observers to truly quantify the difference from an "ordinary" Full Moon. Taking pictures to compare Full Moons will show an obvious difference.

To me a summer Full Moon is ALWAYS a viewing treat and the extra brightness coupled with the humidity of summer on the U.S. east coast will make for a pretty sight as the bright and probably yellow/orangish Full Moon rises.

Get out and keep the fireflies company in the light of the July Supermoon!

Sky Guy in VA

Fruit Flies In Space

Hey Space Placers!

The International Space Station (ISS) is due to get some new crew members very soon - fruit flies.

What amazes me about this story is this - "Genetically speaking, people and fruit flies are surprisingly alike, explains biologist Sharmila Bhattacharya of NASA's Ames Research Center. About 77% of known human disease genes have a recognizable match in the genetic code of fruit flies, and 50% of fly protein sequences have mammalian analogues."

Bottom line, fruit flies are very useful to study due to the similarities between us and them. What affects them in space affects astronauts. No less than the National Research Council recommended this type of research.

Fruit Fly Lab-01 will fly to the ISS on a Space-X mission slated for later this summer.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Help Name Exoplanets

Hey Space Placers!

Want to help name hundreds of worlds beyond our own solar system?

IAU is doing this in collaboration with Zooinverse which is the highly successful Internet citizen science site that allows everyone to participate in different science projects.

This IAU site lists the steps that will govern the naming process, all of which kicks off September 2014 and ends with the names being announced in August 2015.

Be sure to look at the list of the exoplanets to be named at this site. What is really cool is that the host star for many of these worlds is visible to the unaided eye. If you know where to look you can see the star and imagine the exoplanet(s) orbiting it - pretty amazing.

I may have to start taking pics of these host stars so we can all imagine their worlds together.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'm Humbled

Hey Space Placers!

One of the recent pics I shared with you - July 6 - was selected by for their "Image of the Day" for July 9, 2014. To be selected from the sheer volume of pics they receive is a humbling experience.

The fact that it was one of my favorite Moon pics ever because of the definition and contrast in the maria only makes me happier that it was selected.

I am fast approaching 800,000 page views of my blog and at the rate all of you are looking at "What's Up? The Space Place",  I will achieve a MILLION page views very soon - THANK YOU!

I will be providing details soon about a new outreach project of mine that will take space to people visiting the outdoors. I have to wait for the official public affairs release from the government agency involved but you wi be among the FIRST to know.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NASA-JAXA's New Precipitation Satellite Sees First Atlantic Hurricane

Hey Space Placers!

1 of  NASA's 5 planned Earth Science missions for this year, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, observed the 1st Atlantic hurricane of the 2014 season, Arthur. These observations will help in understanding hurricanes and making better predictions.

This capability to observe these storms from space will prove invaluable, especially with the climate change that is ongoing now.

The International Space Station has been photographing super-typhoon Neoguri from LEO and the results are impressive to say the least. 

 Three NASA missions have been making observations of the monster storm from space.

Another example of what NASA does for all of the people of Earth……

Sky Guy in Severe Weax Warning VA

Monday, July 7, 2014

SkyGuy Viewing ALERT!!! Moon Skims By Saturn 7-7-14

Hey Space Placers!

We liked the Moon-Mars combo so much the ringed planet Saturn gets a visit tonight as soon as it gets dark.

For parts of South America the Moon will occult (cover) Saturn.

For the rest of us here is what it will look like.

Get out and enjoy the summer sky, fireflies and warm weather.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, July 6, 2014

7-5-14 Photo Shoot

Hey Space Placers!

Got some good shots last night but no joy on getting pic of Vesta-Ceres. I saw them but high clouds ruined pic attempt. Enjoy these:

I REALLY like this shot of the 1st Qtr Moon as it shows the variations within the maria (the dark round basins) and rays.

Here you can see the Apennine lunar mountain range, craters Archimedes (bottom) and Eratosthenes (top). Also note the "wrinkle ridges" in the maria (dark, flat areas).

That's the Moon in the lower left, a cloud halo and then Mars in the upper right.

See the solitary mountain peaks in the flat maria? You can also see crater rim shadows on the floor of Plato (top) and Goldschmidt (bottom). That is the Alpine Valley to the left of Plato.

The "Straight Wall" dominates this view.

My first pic of Saturn with the new DSLR. You can see the shadow of the ball of the planet on the rings in the lower right and the gap between the rings called Cassini's Division.

If it is clear tonight I'll have more pics for you.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT 7-5-14 Mars & Moon; Two Space Rocks

Hey Space Placers!

Get outdoor tonight right after it gets dark to see the Moon and Mars really close together.

If you are in Hawaii or Latin America you will see the Moon occult (cover) the Red Planet.

For those of you who want to see the two largest bodies in the asteroid belt, Ceres and Vesta, they are very close to one another tonight. You will need binoculars or a telescope to see them in the SW right after it gets dark.

Use the star chart and the guidance in the article to try your hand at seeing them.  Remember that NASA's Dawn spacecraft is headed towards Ceres after a hugely successful 14 month study of Vesta. While we can't see the spacecraft it is in this area of the sky and closing in on Ceres.

Sky & Telescope Star Chart

I will be trying to get a pic of all of these events and will share with you any successful results.

Good Luck and clear skies!

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Most Lightning I Have Ever Seen

Hey Space Placers!

I have been in all kinds of weather, including the eye of Category 5 typhoon.I have never seen such a constant display of lighting as I captured in this 1 minute 47 second video taken on 7-2-14. I could have kept filming for a few more minutes before the sheer number of lightning bolts started to diminish.

The atmosphere was so full of heat and humidity yesterday in Central VA that it had to let loose. Hardly any rain fell which surprised me.

On this day of aphelion when the Earth is furthest from the Sun in it orbit around the Sun the atmosphere is ready to pop again and Hurricane Arthur is making his way up the Atlantic Coast.

To my American readers, Happy and safe 4th of July.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

OCO-2 Launches & World UFO Day

Hey Space Placers!

OCO-2 successfully launched today.

Get the scoop on World UFO Day.

This is short as the day was long :-)

Also waiting to see what the possible hurricane has in store for us.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hubble to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets

Hey Space Placers!

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is speeding towards a flyby of Pluto in July 2015. This will be historic as Pluto will be the last of the original nine planets to be visited by a spacecraft.

But what to do with a healthy spacecraft after the Pluto flyby that has lots of life left in her?

The answer?

Go to new worlds and explore them in the depths of the solar system - an area where we will not probably be going for a while.

To facilitate the post-Pluto mission of New Horizons Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has been looking for worlds beyond Pluto - and has found two potential candidates for the spacecraft to visit.

HST will continue the search for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that fit New Horizons' requirements through August.

The decision on what worlds to explore will have to be made in the fall of 2015. It will then take 2-3 years to fly to the new target(s).

 New Horizons will start her science mission on Pluto in January….it has been a long but worthwhile wait.

Good hunting HST!

Sky Guy in VA