Friday, January 19, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Carl Sagan's original 1980 'Cosmos' series is available for a limited time free online via Open Culture.

It has been announced that there will be a second season of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2019.

You owe it to yourself to see the original....listening to Carl is an experience anyone who loves the stars and space should experience.

I still miss him.....

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Well, the AAS meeting - see my last blog - was quite amazing. I have more to share and will be headed back to sea for 18 days - Bali to Australia. Oh, I will get to see the 1/31/18 Total Lunar Eclipse off the coast of Australia...PICTURES!!!!!!

Fly through the stunning Orion Nebula via this amazing NASA video. You can see the nebula as a fuzzy area under the belt of Orion in the sword. Binoculars really bring out more detail.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society

Hey Space Placers!

I am here at the 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Every January AAS holds what has been described as the Super Bowl of astronomy here at the National Harbor Convention Center.

Astronomers from around the world by the thousands gather to present research papers, lectures and mingle with their colleagues face to face and usually over some kind of beverage ;-)

I'll be sending out Tweets @SkyGuyInVA and posting blogs for the next three days.

My big event is on Friday when I get to tour the Space Telescope Science Institute where Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is operated and the future operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Stay tuned.....

Sky Guy in MD

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Sun in 2017

Hey Space Placers!

If you have been in the deep freeze the past couple of weeks like I have then you will appreciate this story about the Sun, which ultimately powers all of our weather.

This shows our Sun for each day in 2017. Very cool to see the changing face of our star each day.

The Sun in 2017
Credit: ESA/Royal Observatory of Belgium
Downloading the image really helps to see the detail for each day. We are in solar minimum now and the Sun will become more active as time goes on. I plan to view more of the Sun in 2018 now that I have a Hydrogen Alpha filter unit to use on my telescope.

Sky Guy in FROZEN VA

Friday, January 5, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

UPDATE: 1/7/18 Pics:


Two Jupiter moons are visible as is Mars. Galileo discovered the 4 main moons
OTD in 1610
Greg Redfern

UPDATE: 1/6/18 Pics

Bright Jupiter and red Mars will be closest 1/7/18
Greg Redfern

Clear & cold but the solar system still moves on......

This weekend the planets Mars and Jupiter move close together, peaking in the predawn hours of January 7th, when they will be about a quarter of a degree apart and in conjunction.

Jupiter is very bright in the SE with reddish and dimmer Mars very close. Binoculars will enhance the view nicely and show the four main moons of Jupiter.

Mercury and Saturn MAY be visible very low in the SE  45 minutes before sunrise if observers have a flat and clear horizon for their viewing location. Mercury will be higher and brighter than Saturn.

Here is the celestial scene made with Simulation Curriculum Corporation's Sky Safari Plus 5.0

2018 will see the closest approach of Mars to Earth since 2003 and it will dominate our evening skies this summer - ahhhhhhhh, summer.

I will forward pics if I get any worthy of your review ;-)

Sky Guy in FROZEN VA

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Here is a nifty video from NASA that takes a look at our home planet from space as seen by a variety of missions.

These views show our world as a planet in space. We have no where else to go and the way we are treating our planet does not bode well for us. Climate change is real and here to stay and will get worse unless we act as a unified force. We are seeing the effects already.

I hope 2018 is a year in which we make great strides to protect our planet and ALL living creatures on it.

Sky Guy in FROZEN VA

Monday, January 1, 2018


Hey Space Placers!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

The last Supermoon was December 3, 2017 which I photographed at sea in the Atlantic:

Tonight at sunset the glorious Moon is going to rise and will be a Full Wolf Supermoon at 9:24 p.m. EST.

Full details are here.

I hope to post pics later tonight.



Sky Guy in FRIGID VA