Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

Read the latest findings on Mercury's large and solid inner core.

An illustration of Mercury’s interior based on new research that shows the planet has a solid inner core.
Credit: Antonio Genova.

Pretty amazing......

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, April 13, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

Please take a look at today's NASA Web Page.

Look at the breadth of stories - black holes, the Moon, Citizen Science, Space Launch System, Mars, Benefits for Humanity, the Kelly Twin Study.

BTW today is "Citizen Science Day" so see what you can do to further science.

It is an amazing snapshot of what NASA does each and every day for humanity and science.

You should follow NASA on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their latest and greatest.

Sky Guy Greg in VA

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

Here is background on how Israel's commercial lunar landing mission would hopefully go today. It had successfully entered into lunar orbit earlier this week and all looked good for the Thursday landing attempt.

Unfortunately the lunar lander failed to safely make it to the surface according to SpaceIL on Twitter. A selfie image was taken of the spacecraft  22km above the Moon and the landing attempt proceeded. Apparently the main engine failed during the final descent at 150 meters from the surface.

Replay of Live Broadcast
Credit: SpaceIL

There are other private companies that may still try to be the first to land on the Moon.

The Moon will continue to beckon us....

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

Back on land and through March Madness with my Virginia Cavaliers winning the Men's Basketball National Championship.

Huge space news today and tomorrow - private Israeli spacecraft attempting Moon landing.

Today, April 10th, 2019 will be a historic date in the history of science as it was the day humanity saw the first ever image of a supermassive black hole. Get the details here and here.

Here is M-87's supermassive black hole taken with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

This video shows you where M-87 is in the sky and takes you into the heart of the galaxy to reveal the above image: 
This zoom video starts with a view of ALMA and zooms in on the heart of M87, showing successively more detailed observations and culminating in the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole’s shadow.
Credit: ESO/L. Cal├žada, Digitized Sky Survey 2, ESA/Hubble, RadioAstron, De Gasperin et al., Kim et al., EHT Collaboration. Music: niklasfalcke

If you want to experience a breath taking ride into a supermassive black hole like M-87, go to a dark room with all of the lights off, set your computer's display to full brightness and full screen and WATCH THIS VIDEO!  IT IS STUNNING.....IT ALMOST GAVE ME VERTIGO!

This virtual reality simulation by Jordy Davelaar and colleagues shows a black hole surrounded by luminous matter. This matter disappears into the black hole in a vortex-like way, and the extreme conditions cause it to become a glowing plasma. The light emitted is then deflected and deformed by the powerful gravity of the black hole.
Credit: Jordy Davelaar et al./Radboud University/BlackHoleCam

Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgment: P. Cote (Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics) and E. Baltz (Stanford University)
EHT also took data over a year ago on our Milky Way Galaxy's own supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). It is a 4.4 million solar mass beast at the center of our galaxy. Today I telephonically contacted Peter D. Edmonds, Public Information Officer, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian, to ascertain the status of the Sgr A* image. 

He stated, "That's a good question. The Sgr A* EHT image work is quite complicated and it is ongoing. We currently do not have a release date for that image."

Hopefully one day we will see the image of our galaxy's resident black hole. When we do that will be another historic day.

Sky Guy in VA

Friday, April 5, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

Mark your calendar - 4/10/19 at 9 a.m. EDT.

A Press Conference will be held to share the first results from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) - humanity's first attempt to photograph a black hole at the center of our galaxy and one other galaxy.

Simulated image of black hole
Simulated image of black hole
Simulated image of black hole
Simulated image of black holeSimulated image of black hole

A simulated image by the University of Arizona shows the turbulent plasma in the extreme environment around a supermassive black hole.

Credit: University of Arizona.

We have been waiting for over a year to see if the attempts to photograph a supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy would be successful.

Maybe we will finally find out.

Sky Guy Greg in Lisbon heading home tomorrow!!!

Monday, April 1, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

If your weather is clear for 4/2/19, and you have a good, unobstructed view of the Eastern horizon, make sure you get out about 30 minutes before local sunrise (check your local sunrise time) to see a nice sky sight.

Depending on whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere impacts how well you will see the very old Waning Crescent Moon, Venus and Mercury. This sky sight favors the Southern Hemisphere as the three will be higher in the sky.

For Northern Hemisphere observers if you have binoculars it will help to look for bright Venus first. The Moon will be directly below it with Mercury to the left.

This star chart is for the Washington, D.C. region at 6:30 a.m.

Sky For Washington D.C. area 4/2/19at 6:30 a.m.
Sky Safari Pro

I'll be trying for a pic from the Atlantic Ocean.

Here's to clear skies!

Sky Guy Greg in the Atlantic 100 NM off the coast of Africa