This week, Venus – the brightest planet and dazzling “evening star” – will pass the beautiful Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters. Look west after sunset! Venus and the Pleiades meet only every 8 years. Photos here.
Updated April 2, 2020. To mask or not to mask, and, if so, how? Plus more evidence – from Iceland this time – that the virus is being spread by people with no symptoms. Ongoing shortages at hospitals and more, mainly from the worlds of science and medicine, about the coronavirus pandemic.
Behind every government announcement, there is an army of epidemiologists predicting how the virus will spread, and how to beat it. Note that this story doesn’t deal specifically with the University of Washington models released yesterday, projecting U.S. infections and deaths from COVID-19 in the coming months. But it does provide insights into how scientists create models.
In April 2020, Venus is at its brightest as the evening “star,” passing near the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, as the month begins. In the morning, you can see Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. In the Southern Hemisphere, catch Mercury before sunrise …
View larger. | V. Srinivasagopalan caught both Venus (below) and Jupiter on September 22, 2018 from Bangalore, India. Remember, Venus is going into the sunset in October, 2018. Watch for it soon!
Jupiter and Pluto stay close together on the sky’s dome throughout 2020. This year may well present the best Jupiter-Pluto alignment for centuries to come, with the first of the year’s 3 Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions to fall on April 5, 2020.
Pluto and its largest moon Charon, as seen by New Horizons on July 14, 2015. Image via NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.
The 1st quarter moon happens on April 1, 2020, at 10:21 UTC. As viewed from anywhere on Earth, a 1st quarter moon is at its highest in the sky at sunset, looking like half a pie.
View at EarthSky Community Photos
. | Our friend Dr Ski in the Philippines caught this photo as night came to his part of the world, on November 4, 2019. He wrote: "The moon has reached 1st quarter and is visible on my side of the planet now."
Happy birthday April babies! Your birthstone, the diamond, is the rich cousin of graphite.
A single large diamond, with facets cut to maximally reflect and refract light.
Dark energy is one of the great unsolved mysteries of cosmology. It’s now thought to make up 68% of everything in the universe.
Illustration showing snapshots from a simulation by astrophysicist Volker Springel
of the Max Planck Institute in Germany. It represents the growth of cosmic structure (galaxies and voids) when the universe was 0.9 billion, 3.2 billion and 13.7 billion years old (now). Image via Volker Springel / MPE/ Kavli Foundation
The new fossil discoveries provide clues about flying, spike-toothed reptiles that lived in the Sahara 100 million years ago.
Anhanguera soaring the skies over the Kem Kem with Coloborhynchus and Ornithocheirus. Image via Megan Jacobs/ Baylor.