All you need to know: Orionid meteor shower

Details on the annual Orionid meteor shower.  How and when to watch. In 2020, the peak morning is probably October 21. But try watching October 20 and 22, also, before dawn.

Asteroid 2020 TF6 will come within 40% of moon’s distance on October 19

Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project captured an image of the asteroid last night.

Metal-poor globular cluster forces astronomers to rethink theories

The discovery of the most metal-poor globular cluster recorded to date has forced scientists to rethink how both galaxies and globular clusters form.

Pluto’s snowcapped mountains are unlike any on Earth

A new study shows how methane snow accumulates on Pluto’s mountain peaks. These snowcaps – first seen by New Horizons in 2015 – look a lot like ones on Earth, but form in a very alien environment.

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Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are already merging

Billions of years from now, Earth’s night sky will change as the Andromeda galaxy rushes toward a merger with the Milky Way.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard completed its 7th launch and landing this week

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket successfully launched an uncrewed test flight on October 13, with both its capsule and booster later executing a flawless landing.

Astronomers identify 24 possible superhabitable worlds

Are there worlds out there – orbiting distant stars – even better suited for life than Earth? Might they be older, larger, warmer, wetter and with longer-living stars? Now astronomers have identified 24 possible superhabitable worlds.

Worsening rifts and fractures spotted at 2 important Antarctic glaciers

Satellite imagery has revealed that 2 of the fastest-changing glaciers in Antarctica – Pine Island and Thwaites – are fracturing and weakening faster than ever, a step towards the glaciers’ disintegrating and causing sea levels to rise dramatically.

New moon is October 16, 2020

New moons generally can’t be seen. They cross the sky with the sun during the day. This month’s new moon happens on October 16 at 19:31 UTC.

Photos of fiery Mars, at its best in 2 years

Photos from the EarthSky community of the bright planet Mars, now at its best. Earth passed between Mars and the sun – bringing the planet to a once-in-two-years opposition – on October 13, 2020.

Astronomers see a star ‘spaghettified’ by a black hole

Astronomers have spotted a rare blast of light from a star being ripped apart by a supermassive black hole. The phenomenon – known as a tidal disruption event – is the closest such flare recorded to date at just over 215 million light-years from Earth.

James Webb Space Telescope passes environmental testing

The James Webb Space Telescope – successor to the Hubble – just passed a series of environmental testing trials, designed to simulate the rigors of its anticipated launch in 2021.

Ancient microbial life used arsenic to thrive in a world without oxygen

Today, most life on Earth is supported by oxygen. But ancient microbial mats existed for a billion years before oxygen was present in the atmosphere. So what did life use instead?