The World Meteorological Organization manages the formal system by which hurricanes receive their names. Find hurricane names for 2020 here.
2020 has had 2 named storms already, Arthur
, both in May. This is Arthur at peak intensity on May 18, 2020. Image via NASA Worldview/ Wikimedia Commons
Photos – taken through telescopes, or with other optical aid – from the EarthSky community. The brightest planet Venus is now in a thin crescent phase as viewed from Earth. Venus will go between us and the sun on June 3.
View at EarthSky Community Photos
. | Vlad Dumitrescu
in Romania caught the extremely narrow crescent of Venus on May 31, 2020. Vlad wrote: "I had a window of a few hours to shoot Venus at 57.5 arcseconds
diameter and 0.4% illumination after a couple of rainy days ... At less than 5 degrees from the sun and with half the mirror of my Newtonian
lit by our big ball of plasma, it was an incredible sight ... the blue velvet sky and the bright thin crescent looked like something out of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey
." Thank you, Vlad! You'll need optical aid to find Venus after sunset in the coming days. Venus will pass between us and the sun on June 3 and afterwards reappear in the morning sky. Thank you, Vlad!
History was made again Sunday, with the successful docking of SpaceX Crew Dragon with the International Space Station. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are aboard. There are more activities to come, which you can watch online. Links here.
Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station, just minutes before the station crossed into Earth's shadow, on May 31, 2020. Image via NASA Television
Researchers at the University of Geneva have confirmed the existence of an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun.
Artist's concept of what Proxima b could look like on the surface. Image via ESO/ M. Kornmesser/ UNIGE.
Learn to watch ISS moving silently and steadily across your night sky, and think of the 2 astronauts currently making their way there.
A composite photograph of an International Space Station flyover, taken from the UK. Image via Dave Walker.
NASA’s AIM spacecraft spotted wisps of the 2020 season’s 1st noctilucent, or night-shining, clouds over the Arctic on May 17.
These animated images show AIM’s observations from the first week of the Arctic noctilucent cloud season, which began on May 17, 2020. The colors — from dark blue to light blue and bright white — indicate the clouds’ albedo, which refers to the amount of light that a surface reflects compared to the total sunlight that falls upon it. Things that have a high albedo are bright and reflect a lot of light. Things that don’t reflect much light have a low albedo; they are dark. Image via NASA/ HU/ VT/ CU-LASP/ AIM/ Joy Ng
Scientists in Europe have found that some features on Mars that were thought to be lava flows may actually have been flows of muddy water.
A possible mud volcano on Mars, just one of thousands. Ancient flows from such features had been assumed to be lava, but a new study suggests that it was mud instead. That would mean at least some of these landforms really are mud volcanoes, not smaller magmatic volcanoes. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ University of Arizona/ DLR.
Scientists studying data from the Curiosity rover have found evidence for an ancient ice-covered lake in Gale Crater on Mars. The findings support the theory of alternating warmer and colder climates on early Mars.
Artist's concept of Gale Crater when it was filled by a lake a few billion years ago. The Curiosity rover has now previous evidence for the lake or series of lakes over time, and now a new study suggests that the lake could have been covered by ice during colder climate periods. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ ESA/ DLR/ FU Berlin/ MSSS.
In the search for the hypothetical 9th planet in our solar system, these scientists may have uncovered another explanation for the patterns in the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects.
An artist’s concept of a hypothetical planet with a distant sun.