Posts tagged sky



Tom Vilot is Sky Guy on C1N.TV on Channel 1 Networks. A science TV series answering questions from kids.

SkyGuy Videos

Who is Sky Guy

Who is Sky Guy

Tom Vilot has a web TV series on C1N.TV in which answers science questions from kids. It is fun, quality and the best children's space blot on the net. Sky Guy from Boulder Colorado.[READ|SHARE]


A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Tom Vilot is an artist and self-taught software engineer. He has been part of numerous group shows and participated in Boulder’s jurried “Open Studios” two years. After working in the software industry for almost twenty years, Mr. Vilot decided it was time to merge his two passions: astronomy and kids. Being the quintessential “kid magnet,” Mr. Vilot has been volunteering at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, CO., in their K-12 outreach program. Mr. Vilot studied acting for two years. He launched, a series of short videos answering the many questions he has received[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - Why Is Mars Red?

Skyguy - Why Is Mars Red?

We call it “The Red Planet.” But how did it get that way? SkyGuy looks at some possible explanations.[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - Dispatch - Apollo 11

Skyguy - Dispatch - Apollo 11

Skyguy talks about the 40th anniversary of the historical Apollo 11 mission where one small step for man and one giant step for mankind. We also learn about how the spacecraft was designed, where it landed, what the astronauts did on the moon and who was apart of the mission.[READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - DISPATCH: Hubble First Space Walk

Thursday was a great day for the astronauts working on the Hubble Space Telescope. But …. I have to tell you, it wasn’t all easy.[READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - DISPATCH: Hubble Repair!

Great news about the Hubble Space Telescope Yesterday, astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis reached the Hubble and — using the shuttle’s robotic arm — pulled it into the cargo bay. Very, very carefully![READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - DISPATCH: It’s a Comet!! It’s a Comet!! Now!

Comets don’t come along every day. There’s one you can see RIGHT NOW!! Check it out![READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - Will Earth End Up Like Venus?

SkyGuy takes a look at global climate change, Venus, and the future of Earth.[READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - What is the Hottest Planet in our Solar System?

SkyGuy continues to explore the planets in our solar system and answers the question about what the hottest planet in our solar system is. You’re first guess is probably, lets say you’re getting warmer...[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - What’s Hot about Mercury?

Skyguy - What’s Hot about Mercury?

The MESSENGER probe is circling Mercury right now. Why is it there? What’s so interesting about Mercury?[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - DISPATCH: Hubble Trouble!

Skyguy - DISPATCH: Hubble Trouble!

Uh oh. SkyGuy has some bad news. It’s not ALL bad, but it’s pretty important to people who care about space…[READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - Why Are Galaxies Shaped Like a Swirl?

Spiral galaxies are beautiful and swirly. But why? The answer my surprise you. Also, SkyGuy introduces the three other main types of galaxies.[READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - The Perseids!

August 11th and 12th mark the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. But what is a meteor shower and what causes it? SkyGuy explains…[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - What is The Difference Between a Comet and a Shooting Star?

Skyguy - What is The Difference Between a Comet and a Shooting Star?

Comets and shooting stars are very different beasts. But what exactly are they? SkyGuy gives the answer...[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - What is a Solstice?

Skyguy - What is a Solstice?

June 20th was the summer solstice for people in the northern hemisphere. But what, exactly, is a solstice? Skyguy helps us answer that question.[READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - How Many Stars Are There?

Skyguy - How Many Stars Are There?

Ever tried to count all the stars in the sky? Ever wondered how many there really are? Well, you probably won’t believe it but here is the answer![READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - Does The Sun Go Around the Earth?

It sure seems like the sun goes around the earth. In fact, for thousands and thousands of years, that is exactly what people thought. SkyGuy answers this question from Mina, who is five years old.[READ|SHARE]
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Skyguy - How Many Galaxies Are There?

Galaxies are huge!. They contain at least 100 billion stars each. But how many galaxies are there? SkyGuy tries to give an accurate number![READ|SHARE]
Skyguy - Why Is Mars Red?

Skyguy – Why Is Mars Red?


We call it “The Red Planet.” But how did it get that way? SkyGuy looks at some possible explanations.
Mars! People have always been curious about this next-door neighbor of ours. First, Mars looks really cool. It is a beautiful shade of rusty red and it is often very bright in the night sky. Also, it is similar to Earth in some ways. So people can’t help but wonder whether there’s life there.
If we find evidence, no matter how small, that life once existed on Mars, that greatly increases the odds that there is life elsewhere in the universe. Maybe even intelligent life.
There have been several missions to Mars using robotic landers and satellites. Five years ago, NASA sent two rovers to Mars: Spirit and Opportunity. Those little rovers were designed to last just a few months, but five years later they are STILL GOING! They’ve gathered more information about our brother planet than we could have hoped for.
One of the most important things scientists want to know about Mars is this: is there now, or was there ever, liquid water there? Water is so important because if it is there, that could mean two things:
First, it increases the chances that there was or is some basic life on Mars.
Second, it would make it a lot easier for humans to visit Mars. We wouldn’t have to bring so much water with us from Earth.
The less stuff you have to bring with you, the easier it is to travel!
Scientists know that there is water on Mars, but right now it exists only as ice.
Mars is too cold and the atmosphere is too thin for liquid water to exist on the surface of the planet. But in the past, things might have been very different there. Many canyons and other features on mars sure look like they might have been created by erosion from running water. It’s possible there still is liquid water under the surface somewhere.
A lot of people want to know: Why is Mars red?
The answer to that question ties back to our search for water there — but in a strange way. Mars looks red because the Martian soil is rich in a substance called iron oxide. Iron oxide is just another name for “rust.”
Rust gets made when oxygen (a key part of both air and water) comes in long-term contact with iron. Over time, oxygen combines with the iron at an atomic level. And that turns into iron oxide.
On earth, iron usually gets rusty when it’s exposed to water.
This is why you don’t want to leave iron exposed to the elements and let rain fall on it. Rust is a bad thing for buildings and cars. It causes the metal to become weak and brittle. And if you landed your spaceship on Mars, you certainly wouldn’t want it to rust!
But here’s a puzzle: If there’s no liquid water on Mars, then how did the whole planet get so rusty?
For a long time, scientists thought it was possible that there had been liquid water on Mars billions of years ago. In fact, evidence that Mars was once a very wet planet has been growing steadily. So it seems logical that, if at one time water flowed freely on the Martian landscape, it might have combined with rocks that contain lots of iron — creating the rust that we see today.
But in 1997, NASA’s Pathfinder found that Martian soil contains more iron than Martian rocks. So where did the extra iron come from? Maybe meteorites? Well, that makes sense. We see craters all over Mars. Clearly, lots of meteorites have hit that planet.
I feel kinda sorry for Mars — Getting rocks thrown at it all the time …. that must hurt!
There is another possible answer, though.
Recently, scientists in Denmark suggested that the red dust on Mars might have been formed by a stranger process: the ongoing grinding of quartz and magnetite.
By simply tumbling these two kinds of rocks in a flask for several months, scientists were able to create the same kind of red dust that appears on Mars. No water was needed at all! The only thing you would need is wind, and there’s plenty of that on Mars.
OK, I’m not saying that the rust on Mars definitely comes from wind grinding up certain kinds of rocks. The truth is, we just don’t know for certain why Mars is red.
But scientists are still working hard to answer this question.
Hmmm… Who knows, maybe you will be the scientist (or astronaut) who finally figures that out! And how cool would that be?
Personally, I like to think that at one time there was a lot of water on Mars, and that the rust is what’s leftover.
I like thinking of all that water on the surface of Mars.
It is a terribly dry, inhospitable place today and I like to think it looks that way partially because of all that water that used to flow on Mars billions of years ago.
But science doesn’t work like that.
You can imagine all kinds of answers, but the real job is to explore, test, and figure it out for real. That’s fun too.
Mars is a great planet to study. Sure, it doesn’t have oceans and so far it looks very unlikely there is any life there. But by sending these rovers and orbiters, we are learning so much about the planet’s history, its climate, and a lot about the potential for life on Mars in the past.
So remember … the sky is not the limit. You can go a lot farther than that. Just … Maybe pick a cozier place than Mars.

Skyguy – DISPATCH: Hubble Repair!


Great news about the Hubble Space Telescope

Yesterday, astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis reached the Hubble and — using the shuttle’s robotic arm — pulled it into the cargo bay. Very, very carefully!

The astronauts are going to give Hubble some important repairs, and also give it some really powerful new equipment.

Hubble was launched into orbit on April 24th, 1990. So last month, it turned 19 years old. So you could say we’re giving Hubble some very cool but slightly overdue birthday presents!

I think Hubble is the greatest scientific instrument ever created.

It is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble. In [YEAR], he discovered that nearly all the galaxies in the universe are moving *away* from each other — which shows that our universe is expanding.

Since we know that our universe is expanding, it makes sense that this expansion must have had a starting point. Scientists call that starting point of the whole universe the “big bang.”

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken lots of great pictures of stars, nebulae, and galaxies. But it’s also allowed scientists to figure out the age of the universe far more accurately than ever before.

Because of information from the Hubble, we know that our universe is about 13.7 billion years old.

But the Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers discover many other very surprising things.

For instance, we know that not only is our universe expanding — but it keeps expanding faster and faster!

Here’s what that means: Imagine that you blew up a balloon so much that it popped. Then — instead of the pieces of the balloon slowing down as they move away — they actually sped up!

Let me tell you — plenty of astronomers and scientists were very, very surprised when they saw that!

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers also learned that supermassive black holes are probably common in the centers of all galaxies.

And in 1994, when comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit the planet Jupiter, Hubble took fabulous pictures of this big event. And that was a lucky break for astronomers — it was just a few months after the first time the Hubble got some upgrades and repairs, so it was all ready for action.

So Hubble has been GREAT for astronomers and it will only get better after this week. With repairs and new instruments on board, Hubble is sure to surprise us with great new discoveries about this strange universe we live in.

I’d like to wish the Hubble Space Telescope a very very happy birthday — and I’m looking forward to lots more great pictures and science.

So go outside tonight, look up at the night sky, wave, and yell “HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUBBLE!”

Skyguy - How Many Stars Are There?

Skyguy – How Many Stars Are There?


Ever tried to count all the stars in the sky? Ever wondered how many there really are? Well, you probably won’t believe it but here is the answer!

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