Monday, October 22, 2018

SEE YOUR PLANET'S SHADOW

Hey Space Placers!

Every clear night in the East at sunset and every clear dawn in the West at sunrise you can see our planet's shadow. It is accompanied by a pink band called the "Belt of Venus" and both are quite easy to see if you have a clear view of the horizon.

Be sure to look on October 24th when the Full Hunter's Moon is rising in the East.

Full Snow Moon Rising out of Earth's Shadow & Belt of Venus
Taken at sea aboard Azamara Quest
Tasman Strait off the Coast of N. Australia
Greg Redfern
It is a daily reminder that you live on a planet that is in perpetual sunlight and as a result casts its shadow out into space. This is the "magic hour" of sunrise and sunset.

Take a look for yourself and contemplate the end and/or beginning of the day.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

VIEWING ALERT ORIONID METEOR SHOWER

Hey Space Placers!

The predicted Orionid Meteor Shower peak takes place tonight into tomorrow morning.


Viewing Chart for Orionids
Credit: www.skyandtelescope.com

Details for viewing are here.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, October 20, 2018

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON NIGHT OCTOBER 20, 2018

Hey Space Placers!

Sorry for the lapse bu the Internet was not working too well as we crossed the Pacific.

Tonight is the Moon's Night - International Observe the Moon Night.

Credit: NASA

Check to see if there is an event near you. If not there is a Live Stream event starting at 12 pm EDT today, October 20



The Full Hunter's Moon is October 24th so be sure to watch it rise and light up the night.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

HST IN SAFE MODE DUE TO GYRO ISSUE

Hey Space Placers!

Hubble Space Telescope is in "Safe Mode" due to a gyro issue. The telescope is fine but ground controllers are assessing the situation. The gyro involved is probably "dead" but HST can continue doing science when it goes back on line as it still has 3 other gyros and can operate one one.

Here's to more years with HST!

Sky Guy in HI

Sunday, October 7, 2018

LOOK FOR DRACONIDS 7-9 OCTOBER

Hey Space Placers!

The next three nights should be good ones for the Draconid Meteor Shower.

Read the article and find yourself a good viewing location.

Here's to clear skies and "dragon shooting stars".

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, October 5, 2018

APOLLO 8 HONORED

Hey Space Placers!

To honor the upcoming 50th anniversary of the iconic Apollo 8 mission to the Moon, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named two craters on the far side of the moon "8 Homeward" and "Anders' Earthrise".



























CAPTION
The Earthrise colour photograph taken by astronaut William Anders. It depicts the moment that our shiny blue Earth came back into view as the spacecraft emerged out of the dark from behind the grey and barren Moon. This is arguably the most famous picture taken by Apollo 8. It became iconic and has been credited with starting the environmental movement.
Two of the crates seen in this photo have just been named by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) of the International Astronomical Union.
Credit:
NASA/IAU

I will be doing a special write up for Apollo 8's 50th, but suffice it to say this image is in all probability the most famous of all from Apollo.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

THE SOFT GLOW OF HYDROGEN

Hey Space Placers!

Imaging using the the MUSE spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope reveals a universe full of gently glowing hydrogen clouds.
Imaging using the the MUSE spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope reveals a universe full of gently glowing hydrogen clouds. 
ESA/HUBBLE & NASA, ESO/ LUTZ WISOTZKI ET AL

This calming picture shows myriad galaxies amidst  the soft glow of hydrogen gas caused by a well known process called Lyman Alpha emission (light). Essentially the hydrogen left over from the Big Bang fills the observable Universe and is constantly being energized from a lower to higher energy state causing the glow.

The hydrogen "cocoons" surround ancient galaxies in the early and distant Universe. This discovery will allow new observations of these clouds and their galaxies.

So the next time you look up at a dark, moonless sky, imagine the soft glow of hydrogen that fills our Universe.



Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE SIMULATION

Hey Space Placers!

Wanna' take a ride on the wild side - of supermassive black holes that is. These beasts are thought to reside at the center of most, if not all, galaxies. Our own Milky Way Galaxy has a 4.4 MILLION solar mass supermassive black hole at its center called Sagittarius A Star or Sgr A* for short.

Check out this video simulation to learn more about these beasts of the galactic deep.



Sky Guy in VA

Monday, September 17, 2018

FIRST LIGHT WITH TESS

Hey Space Placers!

Look at the first image taken by NASA's new exoplanet hunter - TESS.

TESS image of Large Magellanic Cloud, right, and the star R Doradus, left
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) took this snapshot of the Large Magellanic Cloud (right) and the bright star R Doradus (left) with just a single detector of one of its cameras on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The frame is part of a swath of the southern sky TESS captured in its “first light” science image as part of its initial round of data collection.
Credits: NASA/MIT/TESS

I LOVE the first light image that shows the Large Magellanic Cloud! One of my fave places in the sky and Universe........

Learn more about TESS......



I look forward to the worlds that TESS will discover......

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, September 16, 2018

OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON SUNSPOT SOLAR OBSERVATORY

Hey Space Placers!

Here is the official statement from Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA, http://www.aura-astronomy.org) regarding the "X-File" - my term not theirs - regarding the solar observatory closure that I blogged on recently.

The matter appears to be a law enforcement related matter.....


Sorry, no aliens or Roswell unfortunately. Crime even strikes the science of astronomy....


Sky Guy in the Aleutians

Saturday, September 15, 2018

WHO DID IT?

Hey Space Placers!

Well, now we have a "who did it" aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Someone, somewhere, drilled a HOLE in a Russian spacecraft.

Some Russians are blaming the onboard American astronauts - wow.

Who knows if this will ever be solved.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ALASKA AURORA AND STEVE

Hey Space Placers!

Please click on this link to see more of this morning's (9/11/18) pics of Aurora off the coast of Seward, AK underway on Windstar Cruises' Star Legend.

Aurora & STEVE this am aboard Star Legend.


The purple ribbon is not an Aurora but a STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) event.

Hoping for more tonight.......

Sky Guy at Sea in AK



Thursday, September 6, 2018

UPDATES ON ORION & GATEWAY

Hey Space Placers!

Here are two updates from very in the know people about NASA's Orion Crewed spacecraft and the lunar Gateway.

Read them to get a very comprehensive understanding of these integrated NASA programs.

ORION UPDATE by former astronaut and friend Tom Jones

NASA EM-1 Spacecraft
Credit: Aerospace America
GATEWAY UPDATE by Jason Davis

THE GATEWAY (UPDATED SEPT. 2018)
At the completion of Orion’s first visit in 2024, the Gateway will consist of the three right-most modules in this artist’s concept: the power and propulsion module (far right, with solar arrays), ESPRIT (covered in gold insulation), and the U.S. utilization module (with robotic arm).
CREDIT: NASA IMAGE; Planetary Society caption

The long pole in the tent for all of this is the successful launch and flight in 2020 of the uncrewed EM-1. If that doesn't happen on schedule and successfully all of the foregoing will be affected.

It's time to go SOMEWHERE OUT THERE........

Sky Guy in VA









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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

INSIGHT ON MARS

Hey Space Placers!

Hope everyone in the U.S. had a GREAT & SAFE Labor Day.

I was off the grid for a few days but we are spooling back up today.

Animation of mountains on Mars
NASA's InSight Mars lander will carry a unique instrument capable of measuring heat flowing out of the planet. That could shed light on how Mars' massive mountains -- which eclipse Mt. Everest here on Earth -- first formed.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 



Get more "InSight" here.

Sky Guy in VA


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Friday, August 31, 2018

SOLVING EARTH'S MYSTERIES

Hey Space Placers!

Here is a nifty video from NASA that discusses efforts to learn about Mother Earth's increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels using data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)




Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, August 30, 2018

NEW HULU SERIES - "THE FIRST"

Hey Space Placers!

Hulu looks like they have a good one coming up titled "The First".  NASA's Orion and SLS are featured as is ISS.

It is about the first humans going to Mars and it has a great cast and is done by none other that Beau "House of Cards" Willimon!



Coming Sept 14.........

I can hardly wait!

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

GORGEOUS MOON VIDEO FROM LRO

Hey Space Placers!

Got 5 minutes?

If so, take your computer into a dark room or view at night this gorgeous video from NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio made with views my beloved Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

You won't be disappointed.



This is what the Moon looks like through a good telescope with no atmosphere to blur the view.

So beautiful.....

Sky Guy Back in VA

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

OUT OF THIS WORLD SELFIES!

Hey Space Placers!!

Here's a selfie lovers dream......off planet virtual selfies for your smartphone!

Get all the details here and selfie away!

Sky Guy headed to Scotland.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

WATER ICE CONFIRMED ON THE MOON

Hey Space Placers!

Water ice confirmed on the Moon. 

This precious resource needs to be mapped in detail so we know where to go for mining it for water, oxygen and rocket fuel. If present in a great amount it will form the basis for a long lasting and thriving human presence on the Moon.



The image shows the distribution of surface ice at the Moon’s south pole (left) and north pole (right), detected by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument. Blue represents the ice locations, plotted over an image of the lunar surface, where the gray scale corresponds to surface temperature (darker representing colder areas and lighter shades indicating warmer zones). The ice is concentrated at the darkest and coldest locations, in the shadows of craters. This is the first time scientists have directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface.
Credits: NASA

Sky Guy in Iceland

Monday, August 20, 2018

All About Size Video

Hey Space Placers!

Out in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of N. Iceland.

Pretty nifty video about sizes in astronomy.



Sky Guy at Sea

Friday, August 17, 2018

UPDATE ON ROVER OPPORTUNITY

Hey Space Placers!

At sea headed to Iceland and hopefully Aurora and Noctilucent Clouds. Really want to get pictures of them to add to my book which is at the publisher.

Side-by-side movies shows how dust has enveloped the Red Planet
Side-by-side movies shows how dust has enveloped the Red Planet, courtesy of the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) wide-angle camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Latest on Opportunity.

Sky Guy at Sea

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sunday, August 12, 2018

PARKER SOLAR PROBE LAUNCHED

Hey Space Placers!

GREAT night at Shenandoah National Park Night Sky Festival as the clouds cleared and we saw about a dozen Perseids including some bright ones and the glorious Milky Way!

Tonight is the Perseids peak so get out and see them!

NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe today so its off to the Sun and history.




I hope to see some Aurora on my next voyage which are caused by Earth's interaction with the Sun.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT!!!! THE PERSEIDS ARE HERE

Hey Space Placers!

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is underway now and is expected to peak the night of August 12-13. With the Moon being at New phase for this year's shower from a dark sky site you could see about one Perseid a minute.
The Perseid meteors appear to stream away from the shower's "radiant" point near the border of Perseus and Cassiopeia.
Sky & Telescope

Bright 2016 Perseid
Greg Redfern

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, August 6, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

NASA'S FIRST NINE FOR COMMERCIAL CREW SPACEFLIGHTS

Hey Space Placers!

Finishing up my book has taken A LOT of time.

But I had to share with you NASA's announcement today of the 1st 9 U.S. astronauts to fly on SpaceX and Boeing crewed spacecraft in 2019.

NASA introduced to the world on Aug. 3, 2018, the first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station – an endeavor that will return astronaut launches to U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011. The agency assigned nine astronauts to crew the first test flight and mission of both Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. The astronauts are, from left to right: Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Eric Boe, Nicole Mann, Christopher Ferguson, Douglas Hurley, Robert Behnken, Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover.
Back to work......

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

NIKON'S SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE

Hey Space Placers!

I am getting down to the wire on submitting my book to the publisher next week so I am and will be a bit uneven on blogging.

While working on the book I came across this very nifty scale of the Universe done by Nikon. 

I think you will enjoy looking at it.

Sky Guy Greg

Sunday, July 29, 2018

MEET BOEING'S PRIVATE ASTRONAUT

Hey Space Placers!

Been looking at Mars? The Red Planet beckons you in the SE right after sunset and will be closest Tuesday.

America's return to space using American built hardware launched for America is coming via NASA, SpaceX and Boeing.

Well, here is an amazing story about Boeing's private astronaut - Chris Ferguson.

Someday we'll be sending astronauts into space from American soil. I hope to be there to see that.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, July 27, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT!! LUNAR ECLIPSE & MARS 7/27/18

Hey Space Placers!

Tonight Mars is at opposition and the century's longest eclipse happens for the Eastern Hemisphere.




Top, Bottom, Mars in 2016 from Shenandoah National Park
Middle: Mars In My Telescope 2016


Details here.

Sky Guy Greg

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

JUNO AT JUPITER UPDATE

Hey Space Placers!

THANK YOU for putting my blog over the 3,000,000 views mark yesterday!!! It took not quite 8 years and 1,898 posts to reach that milestone.

Here's an excellent article that summarizes what NASA's Juno spacecraft has learned about Jupiter to date.


What’s inside Jupiter? Scientists believe almost 90% of the planet is hydrogen, with the rest mainly helium and other trace elements. A gaseous atmosphere covers the surface. Below that, increasing pressure liquefies the hydrogen and helium. Below the liquid is a layer where droplets of helium and neon – and possibly diamond – fall like rain. Further in, heat and enormous pressure push hydrogen into a bizarre metallic state. At the very centre is a rocky core more than 10 times the size of Earth.
What’s inside Jupiter? Scientists believe almost 90% of the planet is hydrogen, with the rest mainly helium and other trace elements. A gaseous atmosphere covers the surface. Below that, increasing pressure liquefies the hydrogen and helium. Below the liquid is a layer where droplets of helium and neon – and possibly diamond – fall like rain. Further in, heat and enormous pressure push hydrogen into a bizarre metallic state. At the very centre is a rocky core more than 10 times the size of Earth.
MARK GARLICK / GETTY IMAGES

Hopefully Juno will be continued by NASA and Congress.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

WHERE ARE THEY?

Hey Space Placers!

When we look up and see the stars odds are pretty good that each and every one of them has planets. Astronomers think it is possible for each star in the Milky Way Galaxy to have as many as 10 major planets.

Do the math and you are looking at possibly TRILLIONS of planets in our galaxy alone. Oh, and there are TRILLIONS of galaxies out there in the observable Universe.

We have been searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence for decades with no credible and verifiable signal to indicate anyone is out there. Space is a BIG place but.....

Here is a good article that discuses the possibility that we are it as far as intelligent life goes in the galaxy.

Read and ponder......if this is true what a waste of space.

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, July 23, 2018

THE TOXIC SIDE OF THE MOON

Hey Space Placers!

Here is a troubling but fascinating article about the health of people who have been and will be going to the Moon.

Lunar dust is a problem and an asset that will have to be taken into consideration for humanity's return to and stay on the Moon.

It will be interesting to see how we solve the problem and use the asset.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, July 21, 2018

MOONLIGHT

Hey Space Placers!

Take 4 minutes and 47 seconds out of your hectic day for some beautiful music and imagery of our Moon.

 Images courtesy of my beloved Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Done by the great folks at NASA Goddard.



You will be glad you did......

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, July 20, 2018

49 YEARS AGO - APOLLO 11 LANDED ON THE MOON

Hey Space Placers!

Look at the Moon tonight and remember humans WALKED ON THE MOON 49 years ago today. When you do don't forget to wink at the Moon in remembrance of Neil Armstrong.




Here are some great articles for you to read:

NASA

Earth Sky

TIME

I hope I am alive to see the return of humans to the Moon....to stay this time.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 19, 2018

OUR GALAXY LIKE YOU HAVE NVER SEEN IT

Hey Space Placers!

Wow oh WOW!!!!!

Just LOOK at this radio wavelength view of the center of our galaxy! This is the most detailed image ever taken and shows new structures never before seen. South Africa's new MeerKAT radio telescope
took the image and this is what the LOW resolution image looks like.

This image, based on observations made with South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope, shows the clearest view yet of the central regions of our galaxy. At the distance of the galactic centre (located within the white area near image centre), this 2 degree by 1 degree panorama corresponds to an area of approximately 1,000 light-years by 500 light-years.
The colour scheme chosen here to display the signals represents the brightness of the radio waves recorded by the telescope (ranging from red for faint emission to orange to yellow to white for the brightest areas). This image shows a wealth of never before seen features, as well as a clearer view of previously known supernova remnants, star-forming regions, and radio filaments.
Credit: South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

Simply amazing.......

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

NEW MOONS FOR JUPITER

Hey Space Placers!

WOW!

Astronomers have discovered that Jupiter has another 12 moons for a whopping 79 total - the most by far in the solar system.



 Jupiter can be seen in the south right after sunset
Image




























We still are making amazing discoveries in our own solar system and I think many more are still to come.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, July 13, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT!!!! MARS MESMERIZES, MOON AND VENUS AMAZE

Hey Space Placers!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Now is the time to get out and see the summer sky as I explain in this article. Mars will mesmerize you and the Venus and the Moon amaze you.

Enjoy!

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 12, 2018

FIRE AND ICE

Hey Space Placers!

Read all about today's big astronomy news that involved the 4 billion light year travel of a single article spewed out of the blazing heart of a feeding black hole to be detected in a mile of ice at the bottom of the world........


Gif of neutrinos traveling through ice.
When a neutrino travels through ice, it gives off a faint glow that can be picked up by IceCube’s photodetectors and tracked back to the area of the sky where the neutrino originated.
Credit: ICECUBE COLLABORATION


Quite a story stemming from fire and ice.....

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

JULY 2019 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

Hey Space Placers!

Did you see last year's total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017?

There is a total solar eclipse occurring on July 2, 2019  that will occur in Chile and the Pacific.

I will be going with SKY AND TELESCOPE to see the eclipse. This tour is sold out but there are others you can find.

The totality will be visible from La Silla Observatory in Chile and they will be open to the public for the event. Details are in this video.



Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, July 7, 2018

GREAT VIEDO ON THE BIRTH OF THE SUN AND SOLAR SYSTEM

Hey Space Placers!

On the road at the Inn at Perry Cabin doing stargazing and lecture outreach this weekend.

Here is a GREAT video on the birth of our Sun and Solar System.




Enjoy!

Sky Guy in MD

Thursday, July 5, 2018

ARE UFO'S REAL?

Hey Space Placers!



This question gets asked a lot and the answer is  yes - Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's) are real. There are reports spanning decades that cannot be explained due to weather, astronomical, aeronautical or meteorological causes. The question then becomes what are these unexplainable?

This article is one of the best I have seen recently and I totally and wholeheartedly agree with its theme - these unexplained sightings need to be scrutinized. The question "Have Aliens Visited Earth?" is also worthy of scrutiny but as the author points out these are considered taboo for professional scientists. So was the study of the Moon and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

I have seen things that I cannot explain and I consider myself a pretty good observer of all things in the sky. And yes, I too have experienced a sighting in the telescope that I could not explain decades ago. I also am open minded enough to know that we do NOT know everything there is to know about the Universe. I don't think we can be so cavalier in our outward dismissal of this topics.

But we also have to be rigorous in our pursuit of the truth and adhere to scientific standards in doing so. The F/A-18F sighting is really compelling to me. Maybe we will the "Rosetta Stone" sighting some day.

The Truth is Out There........

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

1ST CONFIRMED IMAGE OF A NEW PLANET BEING FORMED

Hey Space Placers!

Here is humanity's first confirmed image of a planet in the making - it is the bright spot to the right:

SPHERE, a planet-hunting instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has captured the first confirmed image of a planet caught in the act of forming in the dusty disc surrounding a young star. The young planet is carving a path through the primordial disc of gas and dust around the very young star PDS 70. The data suggest that the planet’s atmosphere is cloudy.


Think of it......this is a new world formed out of the same material that created its star. It is currently a cloudy world.

Planets are natural and plentiful byproducts of star formation. There are probably trillions upon trillions of planets in our galaxy alone. We know of almost 4,000 confirmed planets beyond our own Sun with 3,000+ more awaiting conformation and new candidates being spotted all the time.

What a Universe.....

Sky Guy in VA


Sunday, July 1, 2018

THE WORLD'S HUNT FOR ASTEROIDS

Hey Space Placers!

Here's a GREAT video to follow up on yesterday's Asteroid Day.



There are MILLIONS of Chelyabinsk sized asteroids out there and they are very hard to detect due to their size. So the more assets the world has to find them the better off we are.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, June 30, 2018

6/30/18 SKY GUY ALERT!!! MOON & MARS TONIGHT; ASTEROID DAY

Hey Space Placers!


Tonight at local midnight around the world the Waning Gibbous Moon will be joined in the southeast sky by the bright planet Mars. This will be a neat sight to see as the Moon and Mars will be close together as they rise and remain close all night. Mars is getting closer to Earth by the second and will
continue to get brighter until July 31, 2018 when it will be at its closest since 2003.

Go outside and see the duo no matter where you live.....it will be worth it. Oh, and now that you know where Mars is watch it get brighter over the next few weeks - it is quite the sight to see.

Asteroid Day



110 years ago today the equivalent of 5-10 million tons of TNT exploded above Tunguska, Siberia and took out 80 million trees across 800 square miles. We know it was caused by an incoming comet or more likely an asteroid. Fortunately, no one was killed.

If the Tunguska Event were to happen over a large city, a lot of people would die and be injured. That is the fact behind the creation of Asteroid Day. We are looking for asteroids every clear night and from spacecraft. We are developing the technology to detect and deflect the threat. But we have a long way and millions of asteroids to go.

Visit the website today, learn about the threat and what we are doing about it. See if there is an event going on in your area and tune in to the live webcast.

And remember......."the dinosaurs are dead because they didn't have telescopes or a space program".

We have both but we need to do more, much more to stay safe.

Friday, June 29, 2018

JWST TO NOW LAUNCH 2021

Hey Space Placers!



NASA announced this week that James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) won't launch until 3/30/21. This is a significant delay and will cost an additional $800 million to finish JWST which will require Congressional approval.

A LOT going on here - read all about it. Make sure you read the IRB report as it is very telling.

NASA & Northrop Grumman got to get it right on the ground so JWST is right in space, so TEST, TEST, TEST AND TEST AGAIN!!!!!

Sky Guy in VA


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

UPDATED W/ PICS SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT 6/27/18: MOON & SATURN

Hey Space Placers!

UPDATED: SKY DID CLEAR & HERE ARE PICS:


Almost Full Strawberry Moon w/ Saturn lower R

Almost Full Strawberry Moon w/ Saturn lower R

Almost Full Strawberry Moon w/ Saturn far lower right

Almost Full Strawberry Moon


All around the world the Full Strawberry Moon meets the planet Saturn the night to June 27-28. Saturn will be right next to the Moon in the middle of the Milky Way which you won't be able to see very well because of the Moon's glare.

Saturn is directly opposite the Sun today which marks its closest and brightest appearance for 2108. In almost any telescope the rings are visible and make for a memorable sight.

At midnight you can see three bright planets as in this photo I took - Jupiter (R), Saturn in the Milky Way and Mars L.

3 Planets in a row - Jupiter (R), Saturn in the Milky Way just inside the sats clouds on the left, and Mars (L)
Greg Redfern 
It won't be clear for me but I hope it will be for you....

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, June 25, 2018

GREAT ARTICLE ABOUT THE MOON

Hey Space Placers!

Here is an excellent article about the Moon, its formation and what took place in the 500 million years afterwards.

Massive bombardments create huge impact basins that filled with lava 4 billion years ago
NASA
Be sure to click on the NASA Viz link to see some great visualizations about the Moon from NASA.

The Moon will be full on June 28th so take a look at the gray areas - the Maria - that form the 'Man in the Moon', 'Lady in the Moon' and other visuals.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NEW EXOPLANETS?

Hey Space Placers!

Take a look at this amazing image that shows what is in all probability 3 new planets:

Our Solar System formed out of a huge, primordial cloud of gas and dust. The vast majority of that cloud formed the Sun, while the leftover disc of rotating material around it eventually coalesced into the orbiting planets we know — and live on — today. Astronomers can observe similar processes happening around other stars in the cosmos. This splendid Picture of the Week shows a disc of rotating, leftover material surrounding the young star HD 163296. Using the observing power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, astronomers have been able to discern specific features in the disc, including concentric rings of material surrounding the central star. They were even able to use ALMA to obtain high-resolution measurements of the gas and dust constituents of the disc. With these data they could infer key details of the formation history of this young stellar system. The three gaps between the rings are likely due to a depletion of dust and in the middle and outer gaps astronomers also found a lower level of gas. The depletion of both dust and gas suggests the presence of newly formed planets, each around the mass of Saturn, carving out these gaps on their brand new orbits.

The gaps between the rings are likely due to a depletion of dust and in the middle and outer gaps astronomers also found a lower level of gas. The depletion of both dust and gas suggests the presence of newly formed planets, each around the mass of Saturn, carving out these gaps on their brand new orbits. Credit: ESO, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); A. Isella; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF).

Discovered using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) these are considered to be the first three planets discovered by ALMA - that's how strong the evidence is that there are new exoplanets in this system.


The parent star HD 163296 is only 4 million years old so once again we are seeing how planets are a natural byproduct of stellar birth.


Our solar system at 4.6 billion years old is ancient compared to this one.


Sky Guy in VA


















Monday, June 18, 2018

9th LAUNCH ANNIVERSARY FOR LRO AND LCROSS

Hey Space Placers!

Hard to believe it has been nine years since Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Remote Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched.



I saw both of these lunar bound spacecraft while they were being built and wrote the June 2009 Sky and Telescope magazine article about their 2-for-1 mission launch.

Me and LCROSS at NASA Ames 

Me and LRO at NASA Goddard
Humanity is going back to the Moon and LRO will finally have some company with the upcoming Chinese Chang'e 4 and 5 missions.

Here's to more good data LRO and thank you LCROSS for you daring demise in search of lunar water in Cabeus Crater.

Sky Guy in VA


Saturday, June 16, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT 6/16/18 MOON & VENUS AFTER SUNSET

Hey Space Placers!

All around the world people can see the Waxing Crescent Moon and brilliant Venus in the West after sunset tonight.

You can't miss it.....

Enjoy the view and try taking a pic with any camera.

Earthshine from our planet's clouds and oceans will illuminate the dark portion of the Moon - the part that is not illuminated by the Sun - so that you can see craters and the Maria (impact basins).

Get out and enjoy the view.....

Oh, and that bright "star" in the south is Jupiter.

The Milky Way will be up too when it is dark as you saw in my pics yesterday.

Enjoy......

Sky Guy in VA