Saturday, December 15, 2018

SEE COMET 46P/WIRTANEN THIS WEEKEND

Hey Space Placers!



For my world-wide readers be sure to check out the "Christmas Comet" this weekend that will pass only 7 million miles from Earth.

If the skies ever clear again I'll try to get some more pics.

Sky Guy in Rain Soaked VA

Friday, December 14, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT: GEMINIDS & A COMET

Hey Space Placers!

We've got the Geminid Meteor Shower and Comet 46P/Wirtanen in the sky right now. The Geminids should provide a really good sky show and the comet is visible in dark skies.

Here are my pics of the comet from a suburban location in Central Virginia taken last night. The green color and the movement of the comet against the background stars can be easily seen.




I hope your skies are clear to see these two celestial spectacles.....

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, December 10, 2018

VOYAGER 2 IN INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Hey Space Placers!

Voyager 2 is beyond the realm of the Sun. Voyager 2 joins its sister ship, Voyager 1, beyond the Sun.

Artist's concept of Voyager 2 with 9 facts listed around it
Artist's concept of Voyager 2 with 9 facts listed around it. Image
Credit: NASA 

Both spacecraft, even though they are traveling through interstellar space, HAVE NOT left the solar system. Our solar system extends at least 1 light year, 6 trillion miles, out into the Milky Way Galaxy.  To travel to the realm beyond the solar system is at least 30,000 years in the future! 

Space is a VERY BIG PLACE - even our solar system.

The Voyagers should be able to continue sending back data for years to come.

Well done, Voyagers.......well done.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018

CHINA IS HEADED FOR THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

Hey Space Placers!

China has successfully launched their Chang'e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon.

Chang'e-4 rover
The Chang'e-4 rover will explore a huge impact basin on the far side
Credit: CNSA
Hopefully China will keep us apprised on the mission's progress AND share data with the world.

Sky Guy in VA


Thursday, December 6, 2018

BENNU, ET AL

Hey Space Placers!

BENNU GIF
NASA
WOW! I just can't help but look at all of the different types of rocks that are on this asteroid - it's like looking at a meteorite collection on display! The lack of impact craters and the appearance of BENNU reminds me of a rubble/sand pile - it just absorbs everything that it encounters. NASA's OSIRIS-Rex arrived at the space rock on 12/3/18 and will settle into orbit to start its mission of discovery - can hardly wait.

NASA JPL had another success with the InSight landing 11/26/18. We'll learn much about the interior of Mars - and the other rocky planets of our solar system - through this mission.

Russia launched a new crew to ISS which reported aboard 12/3/18.  This was a major accomplishment following the Soyuz mishap that destroyed the launch vehicle just a few months ago.

SpaceX also had a launch of a resupply mission to ISS on 12/5/18......

Busy times at ISS and space in general.

Tomorrow (US time) the Chinese are expected to launch their Chang'e 4 mission to the lunar far side for a landing. I'll be following that!

Sky Guy in VA

P.S.
On a blog policy note, any 'Comments' submitted that are 'UNKNOWN' are treated as 'Spam' and will be removed. Without a name attached it is not comment.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT DECEMBER 2018: COMET 46P/WIRTANEN

Hey Space Placers!

There is a comet that may be visible to the unaided eye from dark sky sites in the South after dark. It covers an area of the sky as large as the Full Moon but is dim. This comet does not have a huge tail or  is as conspicuous as Hale-Bopp in 1997.

It is still worth looking for in the next few days before the Moon returns to the evening sky and makes the sky bright thereby negating being able to probably see it.

I have had cloudy weather for the past 2 weeks so I am hoping for a chance to see & photograph it.

Here are two links for you to read about 46P and both have finder charts to help you zero in on this green visitor.

http://spaceweather.com

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/comet-46p-wirtanen-approaches-earth/?k=X2eLNeXTAu0pdXJ%2B6SJFkgjffbPJdBb2myBdgtfo4Cg%3D&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=sky-jma-nl-181130%0D&cid=DM88427&bid=879599199

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, December 2, 2018

SKY GUY ALERT 12/3/18: NASA Provides Live Coverage of Spacecraft Arrival at Asteroid

Hey Space Placers!

As stated by the NASA Press Release, "NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is scheduled to rendezvous with its targeted asteroid, Bennu, on Monday, Dec. 3 at approximately noon EST."

Tomorrow, 12/3/18, NASA will air a live event from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST on NASA Television, Facebook LiveUstreamYouTube and the agency's website. NASA TV also will air an arrival preview program starting at 11:15 a.m. EST.


This is an EXCITING mission to the asteroid belt that will give us an up close and personal view of this space rock we call Bennu. We will also be looking forward to the return sample scheduled to arrive in September 2023.


Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, December 1, 2018

NASA'S PRIVATE PARTNERS FOR LUNAR EXPLORATION

Hey Space Placers!

Back from being at sea. Internet reception wasn't very good so I could not publish my blog - sorry about that but it does happen underway.

Read this story about NASA's new private partners in lunar exploration. NASA held a news conference this past week to announce the partners and plan as to how we will get back to the Moon in very short order. This is a very good thing especially with the Chinese missions that are due to launch in 2018 and 2019.

The best part of the story is that we will go to the Moon next year, probably with our Israeli partner, SPACEIL.

Israeli Lunar Lander
CREDIT: SPACEIL

I can hardly wait......

Sky Guy back in VA

Friday, November 23, 2018

GREAT ARTICLE ON EXPANDING UNIVERSE

Hey Space Placers!

Here is my Full Thanksgiving Moon pic from Eurodam off of Maui, HI.

Full Thanksgiving Moon
Maui, HI
Greg Redfern
Read this GREAT article about the expanding Universe.

Sky Guy Greg

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT - FULL MOON 11/22/18

Hey Space Placers!

For my U.S. readers, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Be sure to enjoy a rare Full Moon as well.

I will be at sea and hoping to take some pics of it rising and gracing the Pacific Ocean with its glorious light.

Sky Guy in HI

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NASA ANNOUNCES 2020 MARS ROVER LANDING LOCATION

Hey Space Placers!

Read all about where NASA's Mars 2020 Rover will conduct its search for evidence of past life on Mars.

Also, be sure to follow the 11/26/18 landing of InSight on Mars.

Sky Guy in Honolulu

Monday, November 19, 2018

AMAZING NEW VIDEO OF SGR A*

Hey Space Placers!

Check out this new video that shows what our Galaxy's 4 million mass black hole might look like. Pretty amazing......


Aloha from Honolulu,

Sky Guy Greg

Monday, November 12, 2018

ONE OF THE OLDEST STARS KNOWN

Hey Space Placers!

Here is the story about one of the oldest stars known. It is also the current record holder for the star with the fewest heavy elements which means it is OLD - perhaps forming with the first generation of stars after the Big Bang.

As a red dwarf star it will live for TRILLIONS of years.



Sky Guy in the Pacific

Sunday, November 11, 2018

SKY GUY VIEWING ALERT 11/11/18 MOON AND SATURN, TAURID METEORS

Hey Space Placers!

Still with me?

I really am sorry to have gone silent the past week or so but I was under deadline to do the final proofs for my book which I just sent off last night - YAY!!!!!



The book is supposed to be out Nov. 27, 2018. If you like the sea and sky this book is for you.

Tonight the waxing crescent Moon and Saturn will be close to one another in the SW after sunset and will be the first pic I post on my 18 day cruise on Holland America's Eurodam from San Diego to Hawaii and back.

Also be on the lookout for Taurid Meteors.

Sky Guy Soon To Be Underway

Monday, November 5, 2018

Space Weather

Hey Space Placers!

I've been off planet reviewing the final proofs of my book the past week and have 1 week more to go.

Here is an article that discusses space weather  and a new ESA mission to provide alerts.

Space weather affects our daily lives in a variety of ways. Adding a new mission to monitor the Sun and the space weather it generates will go a long way in helping to protect our technologies and ourselves.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, November 2, 2018

SOYUZ ACCIDENT VIDEO - GO FOR 12/3/18 LAUNCH

Hey Space Placers!

Here is the incredible video showing the October 11, 2018 accident of the Soyuz MS-10 launch that I blogged about previously.



More details on the accident are here. The article also states that the next crew launch to the International Space Station will take place on December 3rd.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN & HST IS BACK

Hey Space Placers!

Happy Halloween - the half way point from fall to winter. Check out what happens when JPL has a pumpkin carving contest!





HST is operating again after 3 weeks down time due to a faulty gyro and a troublesome back up gyro. Good news indeed!

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, October 29, 2018

MARS PARACHUTE TESTS

Hey Space Placers!

Check out pulling the ripcord on Mars-bound parachutes.



Testing was done in Virginia at NASA's Wallops Flight Test Facility.

Pretty cool......

On to Mars with the 2020 Rover.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, October 28, 2018

IT'S A PICKLE: LEARN ABOUT HOW GALAXIES FORM

Her 2+ey Space Placers!

Have you ever wondered about how galaxies form and evolve? We live in the Milky Way Galaxy, one of 2+ TRILLION known galaxies in the observable Universe. Galaxies form and evolve over billions of years.

This is a LONG but easy to understand and insightful article written by an astrophysicist about his research into how galaxies form and evolve under the influence of dark matter. His ongoing research shows that galaxies seem to start out as "cosmic pickles" and evolve.






Simulation and video by Daniel Ceverino in collaboration with the author.

We can currently look back to the early Universe to about a billion years after the Big Bang and see young galaxies in their early stages of evolution. With new monster telescopes on the horizon we might be able to detect the very first galaxies to form!ex us

The enigmas of dark matter and dark energy still vex us as to what they are. We certainly can observe their effects on the Universe but are still in the dark - forgive the pun - as to what they truly are.

Perhaps one day we will know......

Sky Guy in VA


Friday, October 26, 2018

EARTH'S DUST CLOUD SATELLITES CONFIRMED

Hey Space Placers!

We are still learning about our own backyard.

Astronomers have confirmed a 1961 observation of two dust clouds that are essentially "satellites" orbiting the Sun with the Earth at a distance similar to that of our Moon. These dust clouds have formed at two locations that are fairly stable gravitationally.

Artist’s impression of the Kordylewski cloud in the night sky (with its brightness greatly enhanced) at the time of the observations. Credit: G. Horváth

They are exceptionally faint which is why it took so long to confirm their presence. They consist of dust grains which could come from comets, asteroids and planetary impacts. Dust is very common and present everywhere in our solar system. Our Moon has a permanent lopsided dust cloud, the Zodiacal Light is composed of dust grains and Earth is bombarded daily by dust.

Mosaic pattern of the angle of polarization around the L5 point (white dot) of the Earth-Moon system. The five rectangular windows correspond to the fields of view of the imaging polarimetric telescope with which the polarization patterns of the Kordylewski dust cloud were measured. Credit: J. Slíz-Balogh

Our own solar system is such an enigma.....we are searching for a major planet in its distant depths and will be flying by a denizen of the deep solar system on New Year's Day 2019 - Ultima Thule - with the New Horizons spacecraft.

Who knows what else lurks in our midst?

The joy is in exploring and finding out.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

VIEWING ALERT 10-24-18 FULL HUNTER'S MOON

Hey Space Placers!

Tonight is the Full Hunter's Moon.  Take advantage of these beautiful fall evenings to see it rise at sunset in the East. You will probably see it rising in the Earth's Shadow, another beautiful sight to see.

Full Moon Rising Out Of The Earth's Shadow
Shenandoah National Park
Greg Redfern
Enjoy the view and beauty of moonlight tonight.

Sky Guy in VA

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