2020 Arctic sea ice minimum 2nd lowest on record

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.

Earth in the balance today

Guy Ottewell’s insights on today’s autumnal equinox.

A Chinese perspective on autumn

In Chinese thought, autumn is with the direction west, considered to be the direction of dreams and visions.

Why Earth has 4 seasons

Some assume our planet’s changing distance from the sun causes the change in the seasons. That’s logical, but not the case for Earth.

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Earth will exact a toll this week on this small, close-passing asteroid

Asteroid 2020 SW will sweep closest – closer than weather satellites – on September 24. It will not hit us, but its orbit will be changed by its close encounter with Earth. Charts here for telescope users. How to watch online.

1st quarter moon is September 24

The 1st quarter moon happens on September 24, 2020, at 01:54 UTC. That’s September 23 for U.S. time zones. Here’s what to look for, and how to recognize this moon phase.

What is a hurricane storm surge?

Of all the hazards that hurricanes bring, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property along the coast.

Satellite data helps climbers ascend Mt. Everest

Data from ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite help climbers negotiate a treacherous glacier on the route to Mt. Everest’s summit.

Cool new Hubble portrait of Jupiter’s storms

A beautiful new image of Jupiter from the Hubble Space Telescope – captured in August 2020 – shows the planet’s icy moon Europa as well as several famous storms in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Giant ‘survivor’ planet found orbiting dead star

For the first time, astronomers have detected a planet orbiting a white dwarf star. If further confirmed, the discovery shows that some planets could survive the destruction of their sun-like stars, and some might even remain potentially habitable.

September equinox: All you need to know

The equinox is September 22.

What are white dwarf stars?

White dwarfs are dead stars. A single white dwarf contains roughly the mass of our sun in a volume no bigger than our planet. Our sun will become a white dwarf someday.

Are day and night equal at the equinox?

Equinox means “equal night.” And you might hear that day and night are equal at the equinoxes. Yet Earth’s atmosphere and our sun team up to give us more day than night at an equinox.