Photos from the EarthSky community of the bright planet Mars, now nearly at its best. Earth will pass between Mars and the sun – bringing the planet to a once-in-two-years opposition – on October 13, 2020.
href="https://earthsky.org/earthsky-community-photos/entry/33371" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Veteran meteor observer Eliot Herman
in Tucson used an automatic, all-sky camera to capture this cool image of a bright meteor and Mars over Tucson, Arizona, on September 22, 2020. He wrote: "Looks like it was shot from Mars - not really, of course - but it does look like Mars shot it toward Earth. First time I have caught such a conjunction." View this image full-sized
. Thank you, Eliot!
A newly discovered “asteroid” may become a new mini-moon for Earth. Instead of an ordinary asteroid, it might be a lost rocket from the Surveyor 2 mission, launched from Earth more than 50 years ago.
Asteroid or space junk? Strange space object 2020 SO was discovered on September 17, 2020 on approach to Earth. It'll likely be captured by Earth, briefly becoming a mini-moon. In this image, the Earth is the blue dot in the center. The moon's orbit is the white circle. Image via Tony Dunn (@tony873004 on Twitter).
Here’s how we can find out if it’s a sign of life.
A radar mosaic image of Venus. Image via NASA.gov
Watch online today as asteroid 2020 SW swoops in for its closest approach to Earth on Thursday. The asteroid will pass just 7% of the moon’s distance. Charts here for telescope users. How to watch online.
Asteroid 2020 SW will pass so close to Earth, that our planet's gravity will blend the space rock's trajectory. Illustration by the Minor Planet Center, with modifications by Eddie Irizarry.
The International Space Station underwent an unscheduled reboost in orbit yesterday, to avoid a collision with an unknown piece of space junk. The 3-man crew was ordered to shelter, but is safe.
View larger.https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/iss_08-18-20.jpg | This image shows the International Space Station configuration on August 18, 2020, with 3 spaceships docked to the space station including Russia's Progress 75 and 76 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. The reboost of ISS on Tuesday was accomplished by firing the thrusters on a Russian Progress resupply ship. Image via NASA
The upcoming great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be December 21, 2020. It’ll be their closest conjunction since 1623. But don’t wait. Start watching them now!
On September 15, 2020, Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent, the 2nd-lowest on record. The Arctic region in general is warming 3 times faster than the rest of the planet.
In the Arctic Ocean, sea ice reached its minimum extent of 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometers) on Sept. 15 - the second-lowest extent since modern record keeping began. Image via NASA https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/2020-arctic-sea-ice-minimum-at-second-lowest-on-record
Guy Ottewell’s insights on today’s autumnal equinox.
View larger.https://earthsky.org/upl/2020/09/chart-equinox-sep22-2020-ottewell-lg.jpg | Here is the equinoctial
evening scene. Image via Guy Ottewell
In Chinese thought, autumn is with the direction west, considered to be the direction of dreams and visions.