Deborah Byrd
Very thin white crescent against gray background.

Farewell, Venus

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.

Watch for the legendary green flash

People tell me when I go to the beach to look at the sunset to try to see a green flash. What is a green flash?

First quarter moon, juxtaposed with a telescopic view of the moon at this phase.

1st quarter moon is May 29-30

The 1st quarter moon happens on May 30, 2020, at 03:31 UTC. As viewed from anywhere on Earth, a 1st quarter moon is at its highest in the sky at sunset, looking like half a pie.

Jupiter and Saturn, annotated. Jupiter is 13 times brighter than Saturn.

Before 2020 ends, a great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

These great Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen only every 20 years. The last one was in the year 2000. Their upcoming conjunction – December 21, 2020 – will be their closest since 1623.

Dark gray clouds in smooth downward bulges.

What are mammatus clouds? Stunning photos here

Mammatus clouds may seem ominous. But they have a magnificent beauty of their own.

Markarian’s Chain of galaxies

Markarian’s Chain forms part of the Virgo galaxy cluster. When viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. Armenian astronomer Benjamin Markarian discovered these galaxies’ common motion in the early 1960s. American astronomer Fred Espenak captured this image.

Have you seen Venus and Mercury? Photos here

Wow! Thanks, everybody, for the wonderful Venus and Mercury photos! These 2 worlds have been nearest each other this week for all of 2020. A selection of photos from our community here, and many more at EarthSky Community Photos.

Diagam showing the inner solar system, asteroid belt and Jupiter and its orbit, with locations of Trojan asteroids indicated.

One of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids has a comet-like tail

Trojan asteroids orbit 60 degrees ahead of and behind Jupiter, in its wide orbit at 5 times Earth’s distance from the sun. Now the 1st Trojan asteroid has been found with a comet-like tail.

3 crescents - Venus, the moon, the eclipsed sun - all at about the same phase.

Crescent Venus, moon, sun

Three crescents – Venus, the moon, the eclipsed sun – all at about the same phase.

Animation showing Hurricane Dorian along the U.S. East Coast.

Global warming is making hurricanes stronger

As Earth gets warmer, hurricanes are expected to get stronger. A study of 40 years of satellite data suggests it’s already happening.