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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

Hopefully Juno will be continued by NASA and Congress.

Sky Guy in VA

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


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


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


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


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:


Earth Sky


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

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 19, 2018


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


Hey Space Placers!


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

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


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.


Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, July 12, 2018


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.

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

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


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


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.


Sky Guy in MD

Thursday, July 5, 2018


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


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


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


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 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


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


Hey Space Placers!


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


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
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


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


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


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.


Sky Guy in VA

Friday, June 15, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Up at Shenandoah National Park Big Meadow last night and got a few pics to share. Gt a lot of sky glow due to the clouds but the sky still won the light pollution battle!

Bright Mars, Saturn and Jupiter

Saturn and Antares & Milky Way

The REAL Skyline Drive is the Milky Way Galaxy.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

A HUGE dust storm on Mars has shut down NASA's 15 years on Mars Rover Opportunity due to lack of solar power.

This series of images shows simulated views of a darkening Martian sky blotting out the Sun from NASA’s Opportunity rover’s point of view, with the right side simulating Opportunity’s current view in the global dust storm (June 2018). The left starts with a blindingly bright mid-afternoon sky, with the sun appearing bigger because of brightness. The right shows the Sun so obscured by dust it looks like a pinprick. Each frame corresponds to a tau value, or measure of opacity: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
For more information about Opportunity, visit and



The fate of the rover remains to be seen. Opportunity's twin, Spirit, died years ago, leaving nuclear powered Curiosity as the only operational rover on Mars at the moment.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Here is my WTOP story about gravitational waves as told by Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Rainer Weiss.

Dr. Rainer Weiss
Credit: Greg Redfern


Sky Guy in VA

Monday, June 11, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

I have a big day tomorrow as I get to interview one-on-one Dr. Rainer Weiss, a 2017 Nobel Prize-Physics winner.

Half of the award went to Dr. Weiss for his pioneering work on Gravitational Waves (GWs). He designed the instrument that led to the 9/14/15 detection of gravitational waves from two merging black holes. The other half of the Nobel Prize went to Kip Thorne and Barry Barish for their work on the detection of GWs.

I hope to share with you on Wednesday the results.....

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

The movie based on Neil Armstrong's biography is called FIRST MAN and is due in theaters October 18.

Watch the trailer and I think you will get goosebumps as I did at seeing all of that NAS hardware including:

X-15 rocket plane
Apollo 11


No matter the acting, which I am sure will be good, the hardware sets will be the real stars of the show for me ;-)

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, June 8, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

NASA's hunt for life on Mars moved forward a bit yesterday with the announcement that the Curiosity rover had found organic material in an ancient lakebed and discovered seasonal spikes in methane gas.

NASA's Curiosity rover has discovered ancient organic molecules on Mars, embedded within sedimentary rocks that are billions of years old.Credit: NASA/GSFC 
To me the best quote in the news release is this one:
"Are there signs of life on Mars?" said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, at NASA Headquarters. "We don't know, but these results tell us we are on the right track."

It is becoming clear that the search for life in the Universe beyond our own planet can focus right here in our solar system. Water abounds on planets and moons in clouds, in craters, poles that never see sunlight and under ice warm salt oceans. And one thing our planet has shown us is that life can live in the most extreme environments.

I think it is only a matter of time until we find the proof we are seeking that past, and maybe even current life, exists beyond Earth. Whether that will be "simple" cellular life only or intelligent life (in the form of received signals) remains to be seen.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

The New Horizons spacecraft is alive, well and AWAKE after an extended hibernation period. The plucky Pluto explorer is in the process of preparing for its 1/1/19 flyby of ULTIMA THULE, a Kuiper Belt Object called 2014 MU 69.

Artist's impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object that orbits one billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, on Jan. 1, 2019.  

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Retute/Steve Gribbe
This will be something to see......

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

JUNE 6, 1944

Hey Space Placers!

74 years ago today allied troops, airmen and sailors invaded Hitler's Europe at Normandy, France. Thousands were killed. The European Theater of WW II would end early in the following year with millions saved and liberated.

The world must pause and remember this day that marked the beginning of the end of the dark forces that led to the great global conflict. If it weren't for the success of D-Day paid for with the blood and death of those thousands, who knows what might have happened.

To stand on Omaha Beach and then the embankment overlooking it is to understand why there are thousands in the nearby Normandy Cemetery.

Sky Guy in VA Remembers

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Are you curious about black holes and gravitational waves? I have blogged about them often and now I have a real treat for you. Got about an hour? Well, a shade under 51 minutes actually.

Sit back and tune in to this video about "Black Holes Last Tango in Space: LIGO and the Dawn of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy". It is an excellent talk given by a human that would know about the subject as he is Dr. David Reitze, Executive Director, LIGO Laboratory, from the California Institute of Technology.

There will be much more to learn about the Universe and black holes from gravitational wave astronomy.

Stay tuned.

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, June 4, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Ever wonder how our place in the Universe, the solar system formed? Here is a great 4K video that gives us insight on how astronomers think the solar system came to be.

It also gives a description of the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission which will reach the asteroid Bennu in December of this year. The spacecraft is in good health and will begin its  last deep space maneuver June 28 and instrument checkout in July.

In the video chondrules (thought to be the first solid matter to form in the solar system and basic building blocks for planets) are mentioned. Here is what a large chondrule looks like - it is the large gray spherical shape in this Chelyabinsk meteorite specimen.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

An asteroid - a very small one - was discovered on Saturday just hours before it was due to hit Earth. 

This is the third time this has happened and I am sure there will be a meteorite expedition launched to try and find pieces of the space rock.

The planet gets hit everyday with space debris, occasionally man-made but most often the cosmic kind from asteroids and comets.

We celebrate Asteroid Day every June 30th to remind us of the dangers of these space rocks. That date was chosen because it was when the largest impact event in modern history took place over Tunguska, Siberia and wiped 2000 km of forest - the equivalent of a large hydrogen bomb detonation of millions of tons of TNT.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, June 2, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Blue Moon lander
An artist’s conception shows Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander on the lunar surface. (Blue Origin Illustration)

Be sure to read this article about how Jeff Bezos wants to go to the Moon and stay in a BIG way.

I for one sure hope it happens as the future of humanity to survive and thrive depends on it.

Sky Guy in SOGGY VA

Friday, June 1, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Enjoy this video on the Space Launch System (SLS). Some interesting facts are provided.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Talk about out-of-this-world-ideas!!

NASA has plans to send a mini-helicopter to Mars on its next mission, Mars 2020 Rover.

Mars helicopter animation
Animation of Mars helicopter and Mars 2020 rover.
Credits: NASA/JPL-CalTech

NASA's Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency's Mars 2020 rover, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

This addition to the Mars 2020 Rover will be a first in the history of planetary exploration. The hope is that this technology will be proven and then used to further the exploration of Mars.

Looking forward to this....

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, May 28, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

For those of you in the U.S. I hope you have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day holiday - please pause and reflect on the true meaning of the day.

Tombaugh Regio is the name for Pluto’s heart-shaped feature. Sputnik Planitia forms the heart’s left lobe. Image via New Horizonsspacecraft/NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

New research on the composition of Pluto  puts forth the intriguing theory that Pluto is composed of a BILLION comets that came together in the frigid and distant outreaches of the solar system.

This theory is based on analysis of the composition data from the Pluto flyby by New Horizons and the analysis of Comet 67/P by the Rosetta spacecraft.

It is an intriguing theory but many questions need to be answered. Perhaps we will learn more with the 1/1/19 flyby of Ultima Thule - 2014 MU69 - by New Horizons.

Our solar system is definitely an unknown for the most part.

Sky Guy in VA

Sunday, May 27, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Humanity lost a luminary yesterday when Alan Bean died following a sudden illness.

Alan Bean, Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot
He was one of my fave Moonwalkers because he told it like it was as only Alan could - straight up and with a humor not seen very often.

We now have only four living Moonwalkers left.......

We need to make more.

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

The Moon and Earth are a double planet system, which means that the Moon is large in comparison to its parent planet, the Earth. There is one other double planet system in the solar system and that is Pluto-Charon.

The Earth and the Moon are interwoven in so many ways but one of the most interesting is how scientists use the Moon to monitor the atmosphere and the Earth itself.

One method is to monitor the amount of moonlight the Earth receives which can be used in calibrating Earth monitoring satellites.

The other is to analyze the clarity of the Earth's atmosphere during total lunar eclipses to do so.  This helps in deterring how "clear" the Earth's stratosphere is of volcanic aerosols which in turn can affect the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth. I personally observed the total lunar eclipse in 1992 mentioned in the article while I lived on the island of Guam and I can tell you it was DARK!

These combined studies will help us to better monitor the health of Mother Earth.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, May 25, 2018

Take A Trip To Another World

Hey Space Placers!

Looking for an exotic get away this weekend?

NASA has just the place - another world beyond our solar system!

The imagined surface of exoplanet Kepler-186f, on NASA's interactive Exoplanet Exploration website. Kepler-186f is an Earth-size planet orbiting a small red star, which may or may not have an atmosphere. No real photos of Kepler-186f exist. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It is an amazing time for exoplanet discoveries - worlds that exist beyond our solar system. We currently have confirmed almost 4,000 exoplanets with 3,000 more awaiting confirmation! NASA's new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was launched earlier this month and made its first test image - WOW.

This test image from one of the four cameras aboard the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) captures a swath of the southern sky along the plane of our galaxy. TESS is expected to cover more than 400 times the amount of sky shown in this image when using all four of its cameras during science operations.

Astronomers are pretty sure that every star in the night sky has planets which are a natural byproduct of stellar birth. One estimate is that there are 10 major planets around each star so that equates to TRILLIONS of planets in our Milky Way Galaxy. 

The closest exoplanet to Earth is right next door orbiting the closest star to our Sun, Proxima Cenatauri, a mere 4.25 light years.

So take a virtual trip to another planet this weekend and then go outside at night to see the stars that have real worlds that await discovery.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cool Science on ISS

Hey Space Placers!

Back from sea and Europe. REALLY sorry about the interruption of blogs but between Internet issues and non-stop travel I just couldn't post.

I will start back today with a cool video of cool science on the ISS.

Help me close in on 3 MILLION VIEWS (just 20K views away!!!!!) by checking back everyday.

Sky Guy is BACK in VA

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Enjoy At Sea Pics From The Atlantic

Hey Space Placers!

Enjoy these pics of the Milky Way Galaxy & Jupiter at opposition, Moonrise & sunrise from Prinsendam in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

Sky Guy in the Atlantic

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!!!!! Jupiter & Venus Planetary Pair

Hey Space Placers!

Tonight Jupiter rises right at sunset in the E-SE as it is directly opposite the Sun or what astronomers call opposition. It is as bright as it will be for the viewing season. Look at Jupiter with binoculars and you will see the Galilean Moons as they orbit the gas giant; there are four of them but the number you can see will vary due to their positions around the planet.

Venus is opposite Jupiter in the W-SW just as it gets dark and is bright and will get brighter in the coming weeks.

Enjoy this planetary pair.

Sky Guy in Bermuda

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Must Read On Pluto THE PLANET

Hey Space Placers!

As I have said in my blog before, Pluto is a PLANET according to a lot of planetary scientists.

I am a member of the Pluto Resistance joining Dr. Alan Stern as part of the efforts to get a REAL definition of what a planet is by real world conditions NOT due to a vote.

Dr. Alan Stern (R) and I Show the Universal Resistance of Planet Nine for Pluto

Please read this excellent article by the authors Dr. Stern and Dr. Grinspoon, who are also authors of the new book "Chasing New Horizons". My autographed copy will be waiting for me when I get back from sea but the reviews agree that this is a GREAT book to read about the New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Join the REVOLUTION of PLANET NINE for Pluto!

Sky Guy in The Atlantic

Sunday, May 6, 2018

NASA Newest Mission To Mars Launches

Hey Space Placers!

Hello from the Atlantic Ocean!

At sea again this time on Holland America's Prinsendam - a BEAUTIFUL ship. She has lots of deck space with no lights so I am hopeful to get some great pics to share.

NASA launched InSight to Mars yesterday and launched the first ever deep space bound Cubesats in the process.

Sky Guy in The Atlantic Headed to Bermuda

Friday, May 4, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

High Contrast Supermoon
Greg Redfern
 Here is the latest from NASA on its plans for the Moon.

We've been down this road before but with the space bring nations of the world, especially China, making the Moon a priority, it will have to happen this time unless we cede all space capability to others.

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Big Finding on Lunar Water From Moon Meteorite

Hey Space Placers!

No big surprise about the Moon having water as we have known that for quite some time.

What IS a big finding comes from this study about a lunar meteorite that shows water MAY be present under the lunar regolith.

With the space faring nations and others returning to the Moon to stay, this has huge importance fo living off the land - in situ.

Sky Guy Greg

Sunday, April 29, 2018

UPDATED:Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!!!! 4/29 & 4/30 Moon & Jupiter

Hey Space Placers!


Full Moon is tonight 4/29/18 and is the Pink Full Moon. No, it won't be pink in is named for the time of year when the flowers are in bloom.Two other names for the Full Moon in April are Grass Full Moon and Egg Full you can see all Spring related.

The Full Moon will be at precisely 8:58 p.m. EDT.

The Moon will have a guest these next two nights as bright Jupiter will be keeping the Moon company throughout the night. Jupiter will be closer to the Moon on the last night of April into the 1st morning of May.

Get out tonight and enjoy the view. Oh, and don't forget to see brilliant Venus in the West as it gets dark. The beautiful planet is now about as high as it will get in our sky each night for Spring and Summer.

Sky Guy in VA