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