Asteroid Fly-by

Compliments of spaceweather.com:

ASTEROID FLYBY: Today, Sept. 7th, a truck-sized asteroid is flying past Earth only 21,000 miles above our planet’s surface. At closest approach, 2016 RB1 will actually skim the orbital-zone of geosynchronous satellites.  The odds of an impact with any spacecraft are, however, negligibly low.  image.

This one was discovered just yesterday (Sept. 6). This happens on occasion. We don’t always see them coming with much warning. This one is a little smaller than the one that exploded over Russia (bus sized) a couple of years ago. 21,000 miles is close. But it is a miss. And this one is only one of two discovered yesterday. Discoveries have been averaging 1 a week lately.

Stay tuned for more space stuff!

Planetary/Lunar Conjunction

planets conjunction

This picture comes compliments of spaceweather.com. Not only can you see the planets in the picture, but Saturn and Mars are visible just above the moon but outside of this field of view.  It’s not often we see all five naked-eye planets aligned like this. And if you have a telescope, you can view Neptune rising just as Venus sets.

This is impressive, but better than this, in the year 2040 (I hope to be here to see it), these same planets (all 5) will be in conjunction. beginning in June, they all will begin moving closer to each other until September 8, at 3:00 pm, when they will converge to within a few degrees of each other in the constellation Virgo around the star Porima. This appearance is known as the “Grand Conjunction” and occurs only once every 4,000 years. On top of this, the Moon (as a New Moon) will be there also.  And Uranus and Neptune will be in the sky (but not in conjunction with the rest) at the same time.

Sun-n-Fun 2016

SUN n FUN 2016 UK RAF Cadets Solar Observing

The Lakeland Sun-n-Fun Fly-In is the second largest Fly-in/Airshow in the US. It brings pilots and aviation enthusiasts from all around the world. And we are there to educate the public on the relationship between aviation and astronomy. Here a group of RAF cadets from the UK enjoy a look at the Sun, “Up close and personal”.