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