Sunday, August 13, 2017

Eclipse Mania Is HERE! UPDATED

Hey Space Placers!


I will be leaving this blog in place UNTIL 8/21/17 so readers can get eclipse information.


NASA Eclipse Simulator

I hope you will watch the video from my Fox 5 segment.


Got your APPROVED eclipse sunglasses?  If you don't, ACT NOW.

Read my story about the eclipse and where you can buy approved solar eclipse glasses, check out nationwide events and how to watch NASA's LIVE STREAM coverage.

Here's to clear skies and safe viewing by all.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT! Perseids Peak

Hey Space Placers!

Perseid 2016 SNP
Greg Redfern
The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks this weekend so get out and look. The Moon will interfere but there will be bright meteors available.

Here's to clear skies.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Hey Space Placers!

Here it direct form NASA - August is a BIG month for astronomy! Hope you will see the sky sights.

Sky Giu in VA

Monday, August 7, 2017

NASA: Eclipse Eye Safety; Message to Voyager; Phony Perseids

Hey Space Placers!

The latest from NASA.

In the U.S. mainland - two weeks to the eclipse! Please READ AND HEED NASA's Eye Safety information.  Improper viewing will cause permanent eye damage! Be sure your eclipse glasses are certified and in proper condition. If you haven't gotten your yet, use the AAS Vendor List to order.

NASA is asking the public to compose a 60 character message for consideration by NASA and the voting public. The winning message will be beamed into interstellar space on the 40th anniversary of Voyager 1's launch, 9/5/77. Entries are due 8/15/17 by 11:59 p.m. EDT. I sent in an entry....I hope you will too.

Yesterday's blog had a link to a story about how the 'net in abuzz about this year's Perseid Meteor Shower being the greatest of all time...NOT! It will be a so-so shower as I wrote because of the Moon. This is an instance when the 'net propagates junk.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sky Guy ALERT: A Festival & A Shower

Hey Space Placers!

Tired of the ‘Dog Days’ of August? Want to get away to cool breezes, lush greenery and star filled skies? Shenandoah National Park (SNP)  is always your answer but now with an added bonus - the Second Annual Night Sky Festival   . Family friendly with astronomy stuff for all ages, the Night Sky Festival will occur over four days and nights - rain or shine. Most of the events are free. Rooms can be booked and there are places to eat to facilitate your stay

August 18th to the 21st, the Park will be hosting presentations, telescopes, activities and viewing the partial solar eclipse  !  If the weather cooperates there will be telescopes available for Festival goers to see our star, the Sun, during selected days - especially on the 21st for the partial solar eclipse - with properly filtered telescopes.

For your own viewing of the eclipse it is ESSENTIAL for your eye safety that you have the proper eclipse viewing glasses  .  Failure to do so will result in permanent eye damage.

WTOP will have a special eclipse story on August 13th with the latest listings for solar eclipse viewing events in our area as well as other eclipse tidbits.

Due to light pollution 80% of Americans cannot see the Milky Way Galaxy, our home galaxy.  At SNP, especially this time of year, the Milky Way is a celestial splendor that can be seen sprawling across the sky from the South to the North. Many guests to SNP have never seen it and some are moved to tears when they view the milky band for the first time. The Moon will be out of the sky for this year’s Festival so the Milky Way will be at its best.

I hope you will join the SNP staff and I at the Night Sky Festival. The Park’s astronomy events continue throughout the season  if you get the astronomy bug during the Festival.

See you there!

If you already have the astronomy bug then you will want to be on the look out for the Perseid Meteor Shower     which is currently ramping up to the peak of the shower on the mornings of August 11-13.

The Moon will be bright and interfere with the number of Perseids we can this year but it is well worth looking anyway. The Perseids can produce bright meteors and SNP is the perfect place in our area to view them. Even living in the suburbs allows skywatchers to see the brighter meteors.

A bright Perseid Meteor lights up SNP skies
Credit: Greg Redfern
So here’s to CLEAR skies for our Festival, Shower and Eclipse!

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

NASA's Planetary Defense

Hey Space Placers!

One question I get asked ALOT after I give my presentations on meteorites and Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater, is, "Are we doing anything to protect ourselves from these threats?"

Than answer is a resounding "YES" as you can see in this nifty video just released by NASA:

I also have my audiences repeat after me, "The dinosaurs are dead because they didn't have a space program and telescopes".

Learn more about NASA's Planetary Defense Office.

Sky Guy in VA