See the layers of dust set against this South Carolina sunset? That dust came from Africa’s Sahara Desert. It traveled across the Atlantic Ocean this month to cause dusty skies across the U.S. South and into Texas.
Masses of dusty air form over the Sahara Desert and move westward across the tropical North Atlantic frequently from spring to fall. A particularly large swath of dust is headed our way now. Watch for hazy skies in the Caribbean by this weekend, and possibly into the U.S. by next week.
A bright meteor is called a fireball. This one creates a backdrop to clouds of smoke from an actual fire that – as of Saturday – had burned some 9,000 acres and was only 10% contained, according to Inciweb.
This faint comet – Comet C/2019 U6 (Lemmon) – is headed toward its perihelion, or closest point to the sun, on June 18. It’s currently visible from the Southern Hemisphere, via strong binoculars, with a dark sky.
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.
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.
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.
This was the last sunset – prior to several months of winter darkness – at Concordia Research Station in Antarctica. Scientists at the station are studying how living in extreme conditions affects the human body and mind.