Waning moon with Mars nearby.

Photos: When the moon hid Mars

The moon will cover Mars 5 times in 2020, but the occultation on February 18, 2020, was the only one accessible to viewers in much of North and Central America. Photos from the EarthSky Community here.

VLT sees surface of dim Betelgeuse

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope is in northern Chile. Astronomers used it to capture the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The new images show how the apparent shape of this star is changing.

Pine Island Glacier spawns PIGlets

Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier – known as ‘PIG’ for short – has just spawned a huge iceberg. At over 115 square miles (300 square km), this huge berg quickly broke into many ‘PIGlet’ pieces

Liftoff! Solar Orbiter launches successfully

ESA’s sun-exploring Solar Orbiter will be the first spacecraft ever to fly over the sun’s poles. It’ll study the origin of the solar wind, which has the potential to affect earthly technologies.

Congratulations, Christina Koch!

Astronaut Christina Koch has returned to Earth after a record-breaking stay of 328 days aboard the International Space Station. She now holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Tarantula Nebula seen through the eyes of Spitzer

Stunning new Spitzer Space Telescope image of the Tarantula Nebula in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud dwarf galaxy. Spitzer ended its 16-year mission on January 30.

Splash of color on Georgia’s Arabia Mountain

Diamorpha on a Georgia mountaintop

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!

Moon and tiny starlike dot and an arched stone structure against purple sky.

Crescent moon and Jupiter

Jenney Disimon captured the crescent moon and Jupiter over Sabah, N. Borneo, on January 23, 2020.

Rippling ice and storms at Mars’ north pole

This image is part of a wider system of depressions that spiral outward from the very center of Mars’ north pole. Seen in context, you can see rippling troughs that curve and bend and slice outwards from the pole counterclockwise.