Top 5 Mercury mysteries that BepiColombo will solve

BepiColombo – a joint mission of Europe and Japan – successfully passed Earth last night and is now headed toward the innermost part of the solar system. Here are questions about our sun’s innermost planet, Mercury, the spacecraft is expected to answer.

What the coronavirus does to your body that makes it so deadly

How the coronavirus infects and how it makes people sick.

EarthSky’s essential coronavirus links

Updated April 9, 2020. African Americans more likely to get COVID-19. What’s next after stay-at-home orders are lifted? Worries about a global “poverty tsunami.” Coronavirus arrived in New York from Europe. Tweets from the frontlines. More.

Will you see BepiColombo’s goodbye flyby tonight?

BepiColombo is a spacecraft on a roundabout journey to Mercury. It’ll sweep near Earth tonight, using Earth as a gravity slingshot to send it hurtling toward the inner solar system. For most of us, BepiColombo will pass unseen. But people with telescopes might spot it! Charts and more here.

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Here’s how to see that huge asteroid that’ll safely pass Earth in April

A huge asteroid – (52768) 1998 OR2 – will pass closest to Earth on April 29. Astronomers at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico begin detailed observations today. Charts, tips – plus how to watch online – here.

A rare ozone hole is open over the Arctic

Since March 14, ozone over Earth’s Arctic has decreased to what’s normally considered ‘ozone hole levels.’ Scientists expect this year’s Arctic hole – the largest ever seen over the Arctic – to close again around mid-April 2020.

Why did Ecuador’s tallest waterfall stop flowing?

With water dropping 150 meters (490 feet) through a thick patch of cloud forest, San Rafael Waterfall was one of Ecuador’s most captivating landscapes and attracted tens of thousands of visitors per year. But on February 2, the water stopped flowing.

Is bright Comet ATLAS disintegrating?

Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) has been fainter during the last few nights. It’s possible it’s disintegrating (as comets sometimes do), although it’s still possible ATLAS will survive. Details here.

What is a waxing gibbous moon?

A waxing gibbous moon appears more than half lighted, but less than full. It rises before sundown and sets somewhere between midnight and dawn.

Fossil skull suggests human ancestors emerged 200,000 years earlier than thought

This newly discovered fossil is a hugely important find, say scientists. It means that one of our earliest ancestors possibly originated in southern Africa. Read more

What is a supermoon?

We’re currently enjoying a “season” of 3 full moon supermoons: March 9, April 7-8 and May 7, 2020. Then we’ll have a “season” of 3 new moon supermoons on September 17, October 16 and November 15, 2020. Supermoon-o-mania, here.

Was Mercury once habitable?

As unlikely as it may sound, Mercury may have once been able to support subsurface microscopic life, according to a new study from the Planetary Science Institute.

Ready, set, explore Earth from home

We’re at home. How about you? But we just discovered these virtual tours, galleries and live webcams from around the world, which we wanted to share. Stay home, and have some virtual fun …