Less air pollution during Covid-19 restrictions, says study

NASA researchers have found that since February, pandemic restrictions have reduced global nitrogen dioxide concentrations by nearly 20%.

The Stingray Nebula is disappearing

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured never-before-seen images of the rapid fading of the Stingray Nebula. This nebula is a cloud in space, surrounding a dying star.

Gaia’s 3rd data release, in numbers

The much-anticipated 3rd data release from the Gaia space observatory happened today.

What is the Orion Nebula?

You can see the Orion Nebula as a fuzzy spot on the night sky dome. It’s really a vast cloud in space where new stars are forming. How to find the Orion Nebula in your sky tonight. Plus … the science of this star factory in space.

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Observations confirm new mini-moon is 60s-era rocket booster

A mysterious object discovered in September is currently a new mini-moon for Earth. NASA confirmed on Tuesday, December 2, that the object is a lost-and-found 60s-era rocket from the Surveyor 2 moon mission, launched from Earth more than 50 years ago.

China’s Chang’e 5 mission has landed on the moon

China’s robotic Chang’e 5 launched successfully last week atop a Chinese Long March 5 rocket. Now it’s reported to have landed on the moon. It’s scheduled to bring back moon rocks later this month.

Did the Wow! signal come from this star?

Where did the famous mystery Wow! signal, detected in 1977, come from? Astronomer Alberto Caballero might have pinpointed the host star. It’s a sunlike star 1,800 light-years away, in the direction of the center of our Milky Way.

Phew! Record-smashing 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is officially over

November 30 marked the official end of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, although more storms are still possible. Why did 2020 have so many storms? And what does climate change have to do with it?

Astronomers reveal asteroid 2000 WO107 as a contact binary

Asteroid 2000 WO107 passed Earth safely on November 29, at 11 times the moon’s distance. Astronomers at Goldstone bounced radar signals from its surface and discovered it’s 2 asteroids that touched, and stuck.

What is a waning gibbous moon?

The waning gibbous moon falls between full and last quarter. See it best from late night through early morning.

Arecibo telescope receiver platform crashes onto dish

The telescope has been inoperable since August, when a major cable broke. In November, a second cable broke and multiple engineering companies declared that safety in and around the telescope could not be guaranteed. Now astronomers’ fears for Arecibo have come to pass. No one was injured.

Schedar shines brightly at the Queen’s heart

Orange-hued Schedar is the brightest star in the distinctive W-shaped northern constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

December 2020 guide to the bright planets

December 2020 will show you 3 bright planets as soon as darkness falls: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Venus, the brightest planet, is in the east before sunrise. On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will have their once-in-20-years conjunction in our sky, appearing closer than they have for centuries, only 1/5 of a moon-diameter apart.