It’s time to watch for the zodiacal light

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. This is a good time of year to see it in the evening, from the Northern Hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere, look before dawn!

A telescopic view of the moon's cratered limb, with the red disk of Mars disappearing behind it.

Watch Mars disappear behind the moon on February 18

Given clear skies, all of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii) can watch the red planet Mars disappear behind the moon – or reappear, or both – on the morning of February 18, 2020.

Painting Botticelli's Birth of Venus.

Valentine Venus

Talk about an awesome Valentine’s Day activity! Go outside and show your sweetie Venus, the planet of love. Astronomer Guy Ottewell provides a chart and more.

A white ball representing a star, with distorted-looking lines around it.

What is a neutron star?

Neutron stars are born in supernova explosions. They are stars with a couple of times our sun’s mass, squeezed into a sphere the size of an earthly city.

SMicro-moon superimposed on supermoon.

Is this weekend’s full moon a supermoon?

The full moon on February 9, 2020, ranks as the 4th-closest (and therefore the 4th-largest) full moon of 2020, but is it a supermoon?

Taurus? Here’s your constellation

How to find to find the constellation Taurus in your night sky. Plus the names of some of its bright stars and star clusters and its mythology.

February 2020 guide to the bright planets

In February 2020, Venus lights up the west after sunset, with Mercury beneath Venus at dusk until around mid-month. Before sunrise, you’ll find a string of planets in the east: Mars at top, Saturn at bottom, and very bright Jupiter in between.

Groundhog Day is an astronomy holiday

Groundhog Day is what’s called a cross-quarter day, a day about midway between a solstice and an equinox. Groundhog Day in history and culture here.

This week’s Venus and Neptune conjunction

The Venus-Neptune in conjunction on January 27 was the closest planetary conjunction of 2020. But – because Neptune is so faint – it wasn’t easy to capture. Plus a star near Venus confused people!

How many supermoons in 2020?

We’ll enjoy a “season” of 3 full moon supermoons on March 9, April 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.

Rigel in Orion is blue-white

Rigel, brightest star in the easy-to-see constellation of Orion the Hunter, shines with a blue-white color. Hidden behind its brilliant classic beauty is a fascinating and complex stellar life history.

An image of Betelgeuse taken at sub-millimeter wavelengths taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

How far is Betelgeuse?

Recent speculation that Betelgeuse might be on the verge of going supernova prompted many to ask: how far away is it? But getting a distance measurement for this star has been no easy task.

What’s a penumbral eclipse of the moon?

During a penumbral eclipse, very observant people in the right spot on Earth will look up and notice a dark shading on the moon’s face. Others will look and notice nothing at all.

A totally eclipsed sun with a bright light emerging on one side: the diamond ring effect.

What is an eclipse season?

A solar eclipse can happen only at new moon. A lunar eclipse can happen only at full moon. Additionally – for an eclipse to occur – the new moon or full moon has to take place within an eclipse season.

Lengths of lunar months in 2020

The longest lunar month in 2020 starts with the new moon on February 23, and concludes with the new moon on March 24. Its duration will be 29 days 17 hours and 56 minutes.

Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.

Amazing photo of a meteor streaking right in front of Venus

EarthSky’s 2020 meteor shower guide

All you need to know about major meteor showers in 2020.

Dark skies for 2020’s Quadrantid meteors

2020’s first major meteor shower is the Quadrantid shower. Best time to watch is probably late night January 3 until dawn January 4. Northerly latitudes are favored. No moon in the predawn hours (2 a.m. until dawn) this year!

Close and far moons of 2020

The moon will swing to its farthest from Earth for 2020 on March 24, and then comes closest to Earth about 2 weeks later, on April 7.

Sun in zodiac constellations, 2020

The sun in our sky moved in front of the constellation Sagittarius on December 18, 2019. It’ll move in front of the constellation Capricornus on January 20. Click here for sun-entry dates to zodiac constellations in 2020, using boundaries for constellations set by the International Astronomical Union in the 1930s.