Venus appears in the eastern predawn sky all week; from my location, the ISS appears with Venus at 5:30 AM on Oct. 23rd. If you’d like to see if the ISS will be over your position, you can use the tracker on the Heavens-Above website, or any number of smartphone apps. The Moon dances with Saturn and Jupiter from Oct. 20-23 in the southern sky after sunset. Here’s a close-up of the conjunction on Oct. 22nd: Mars is at opposition and very bright in the eastern sky after sunset; Mars is visible all night long, and I’ve seen some spectacular images taken of it! Uranus is almost in the center between Mars and the Pleiades star cluster. I watched #Mars for over 4 hours last night, and put together hundreds of thousands of images to create this animation of it’s rotation Credit 🔭 by James McCarthy pic.twitter.com/4zbfpccYeS — Domenico (@AvatarDomy) October 13, 2020 The Moon is a waxing crescent – … Continue reading →
About Bob Trembley
Bob is a lifelong amateur astronomer, and the 2019 outreach officer for the Warren Astronomical Society, and a volunteer NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Bob does a lot of astronomy outreach - he lectures about astronomy and space science, and sets up his telescopes at schools, planetariums, conventions, and other venues. From 2014-2016, he was the editor of the Warren Astronomical Society's newsletter.
Bob is fantastically interested in asteroids and near-Earth objects (NEOs), and a HUGE fan of Kerbal Space Program; he is determined to improve the teaching of astronomy and Space History throughout Michigan, and the U.S. Follow Bob on Twitter, Facebook, The Web, and YouTube.
On Tuesday October 20, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission will gather a sample from the surface of an asteroid – a first in U.S. space exploration history! The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); the spacecraft has been in proximity to the asteroid for quite some time, mapping the surface in great detail. Asteroid Bennu’s unexpectedly rocky surface made selection of a safe sample location difficult, but eventually 4 candidates were selected and a final site chosen. The spacecraft has done two test-runs of its sample collection maneuver in August, getting to within 131 ft (40 m) of the asteroid’s surface. OSIRIS-REx has made several discoveries as it has surveyed the surface of asteroid Bennu – it saw particles being ejected from the asteroids surface. We’ve also learned a lot about Bennu’s gravity field. Using the natural supply of mini gravity probes (ejected particles), the team discovered that the interior of Bennu is not uniform. … Continue reading →
Venus appears in the eastern predawn sky all week; the waning crescent Moon appears near Venus on the mornings of Oct. 13th and 14th. Saturn and Jupiter appear in the southern sky after sunset. Mars is at opposition – when it and the Earth are in-line with the Sun; this is also when Mars is closest to the Earth in their orbits, so now is a great time to go observe Mars! Here’s a close-up of the Mars opposition: The Moon is a waning crescent – visible low to the east before sunrise. The new Moon occurs on Oct. 16th – the Moon will not be visible at this time… unless it get’s smacked by an asteroid… The Moon returns to the southwestern sky at dusk as a waxing crescent by early next week. If you click on the Moon image above, or click this link, you will go to NASA’s Moon Phase and Libration, 2020 page – it will … Continue reading →
World Space Week runs from Oct. 4-10 – this year’s theme is “Satellites Improve Life.” World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10. These dates commemorate two events: October 4, 1957: Launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, and the dawn of the space age. October 10, 1967: The signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. World Space Week consists of space education and outreach events held by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, planetaria, museums, and astronomy clubs around the world in a common timeframe. These synchronized space events attract greater public and media attention. Register new events, and search for events near you here: https://www.worldspaceweek.org/events/ … Continue reading →
The Astronomy at the Beach event has come and gone, and although we did not have the amount of attendees we’ve had at in-person events, we did have some sessions with a lot of viewers. The speakers were fantastic, and many of the sessions were recorded, so you can access the event website and watch replays! I spent the last several months helping the board of the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC) with their website for the event, and was monitoring several events simultaneously as they were happening during the event. Now that the event is over, I’m thinking about how GLAAC can help promote Michigan’s astronomy clubs, and their presenters who have expressed an interest in doing remote presentations for in-school and at-home classrooms. Venus appears low in the eastern predawn sky all week near the star Regulus in Leo – look for the inverted question mark asterism. At the same time over in the northeastern sky, … Continue reading →
Astronomy at the Beach – This Weekend! The Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs hosts the annual Astronomy at the Beach event every September – this year it will be held online the 25th & 26th! The lineup of speakers and presentations for the event is simply amazing; four of the presenters just happen to write for the Sacred Space Astronomy site! If you are interested at all in astronomy, these are must-see presentations – and many will take questions from the viewing audience! Website and Schedule: https://www.glaac.org/astronomy-at-the-beach-2020/ Having meetings with Michigan astronomers and working on the website for the Astronomy at the Beach event has been a great way to get to know the astronomers of GLAAC member clubs I’ve only had a little contact with in the past. I was thinking this morning how incredibly fortunate I am to be in the company of so many astronomers – both amateur and professional. I only wish I would have known … Continue reading →
I’ve been working with the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC) on their annual Astronomy at the Beach event – Sept. 25 & 26; we’re holding the event online this year for obvious reasons. We have a fantastic set of speakers for the event, and several astronomers will be live-broadcasting from their observatories and driveways across Michigan and from Arizona! Our headliners are Br. Guy & Dan Davis – co-authors of Turn Left at Orion, David Levy – comet discoverer extraordinaire and author on the Sacred Space Astronomy site, and Dolores Hill of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission. Several astronomers from GLAAC-member clubs will be giving presentations and participating in panel discussions about astronomy and space science; I will be giving three presentations myself and monitoring the event’s “Ops Channel” over the weekend. Several of the persons giving presentations are volunteer NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors – like my wife and I. Many of the presenters have expressed a … Continue reading →
My wife has recuperated from her appendectomy – for the most part – she’s still in the recliner by evening, taking it easy. Her middle-school opening got delayed for a week, but she had to go into school this morning to do set up. She’s not having any students today – they start tomorrow, and knowing the history of Connie catching everything sick students bring into school… well… if I sit and think about it, I’m quite likely terrified at a situation that seems dangerous and completely out of my control. I’m not sure if playing complicated and immersive video games is “handling the situation very well,” but it sure keeps my mind off it… Saturn and Jupiter appear in the southern sky after sunset near the constellation Sagittarius, and are visible for several hours into the early morning. Mars appears in the east-southeastern sky at 3:00 AM this week – the Moon appears in the eastern sky with Mars … Continue reading →
My wife is home recuperating from her appendectomy; she’s healing well and starting to feel better – so naturally, she’s overdoing it… She’s been spending a lot of time in the recliner in the basement, with the parrots and I. Andromeda, our Senegal parrot has been simply loving all the time she’s been spending with Connie! Saturn and Jupiter appear in the southern sky after sunset, moving to the southwest in the late evening and early morning hours; the pair of planets set shortly after 2:00 AM. The Moon appears in the sky above the bright star Fomalhaut for a good part of the night; Fomalhaut rises in the southeast around 10:00 PM, and sets in the southwest around 5:00 AM. Mars rises in the east around 10:00 PM, and appears high in the southwestern sky at sunrise. The Moon appears in a very close conjunction with Mars in the early morning hours of Sept. 6th. Here’s a close-up of … Continue reading →
The Vatican Observatory calendars have been a tradition since the year 2000! Each month, the calendar features a beautiful photograph of the heavens by some of the leading astrophotographers from around the world. The 2021 calendar features the works of: Mark Hanson, Stellar Winds Observatory, USA Damian Peach, UK Bernard Miller, USA R. Jay GaBany, USA Robert Gendler, USA Josef Pöpsel, Stefan Binnewies, Capella Observatory, Germany Johannes Schedler (chart32.de), Panther Observatory, Chile/Austria Bernhard Hubl, Austria Dario Giannobile, Italy Anthony Ayiomamitis, Greece J-P Metsavainio, Finland Tony Hallas, USA Adam Block, Steward Observatory – University of Arizona, USA Here’s a taste of the beautiful images of the heavens in the Vatican Observatory 2021 calendar: For 21 years, the Vatican Observatory Guild has helped to support and promote our work through the distribution of the Official Calendar of the Vatican Observatory. Each contribution of $25 or more entitles a Guild Member to receive or give a copy of the 2021 Calendar.Continue reading →
Get Well Connie! As I was working on images for this post yesterday, I had to rush my wife Connie to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy; hospital rules would not allow me to see her after she was admitted, and it was several hours before she was able to get into the operating room… Her appendix was removed and had not ruptured – which is what we were hoping for. As I’m writing this, she is eating for the first time in 24 hours, and it looks like they are starting on release paperwork. I love my wife dearly, but if she had a mutant super-power, it would be the ability to have calamitous things happen to her, or around her, frequently! Honestly, I’ve joked about this oddity for decades! Every time she gets hurt, I hum the first few bars of the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” theme! That theme song is Connie’s ringtone on my smartphone – … Continue reading →
Happy Birthday Amanda! Today is my youngest daughter Amanda’s 32nd birthday! Amanda is married to Sam Festian, and they have a 6 month old daughter who is adorable, good-natured, and sleeps through the night. When Amanda was a baby… she was adorable! My wife and I comment frequently how lucky Sam and Amanda are to have a baby that very rarely cries; however, Alayanora is starting to vocalize this weird thing I’m calling the “monster growl.” My wife got some baby dresses with stars and constellations on them – three different sizes… so the baby will be able to wear the “same” dress for months as she grows. Jupiter and Saturn continue to appear in the southern sky during the early morning and predawn hours this week. Keep watching Jupiter as it slowly gets closer to Saturn over the next couple months. The Pleiades star cluster, Uranus and Mars appear in the eastern sky during the early morning hours this … Continue reading →