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    The year's third and final conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto takes place on December 12, 2020.

    Jupiter gives us Pluto in 2020

    The 3rd of this year’s 3 Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions is coming up on November 12, 2020. Jupiter won’t have another conjunction with Pluto again until February 4, 2033. And another one this good? Not for centuries.

    The Yarkovsky effect: Pushing asteroids around with sunlight

    The Yarkovsky effect is a minuscule push on a small body in space, imparted by nothing more than sunlight.

    Illustration showing sunrise and sunset points on your horizon, plus solar noon, when the sun is highest in the sky.

    Year’s earliest solar noon on November 2

    November 2 brings the year’s earliest noon – or midday – by nature’s clock. The earliest solar noon is a harbinger of the year’s earliest sunset in the Northern Hemisphere and earliest sunrise in the Southern Hemisphere. Both take place before the December 21 solstice.

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

    Before 2020 ends, a great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

    Jupiter and Saturn are getting closer, as they near their once-in-20-years conjunction on December 21, 2020. At their closest, they’ll be only 0.1 degrees apart. That’s just 1/5 of a full moon diameter. Start watching them now, and you’ll see them draw close together.

    All you need to know: Taurid meteors

    Although a modest shower, perhaps offering 5 meteors per hour, the Taurid shower lasts over a month and is known for producing dramatic fireballs, or exceptionally bright meteors.

    A faint, fuzzy galaxy located along our line of sight to a bright orange star.

    Mirach is guide star to 3 galaxies

    Mirach, a bright star in the constellation Andromeda, is often used by stargazers to locate the Andromeda Galaxy, the Triangulum Galaxy, and a galaxy known as Mirach’s Ghost (NGC 404).

    November 2020 guide to the bright planets

    See all 5 bright solar system planets in November 2020! See 3 bright planets at nightfall: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Then see 2 bright planets in the morning sky: Venus and Mercury.

    Pumpkins with stars and a comet.

    Halloween is a cross-quarter day

    The 4 cross-quarter days fall between equinoxes and solstices. Halloween is the spookiest one – derived from a sacred festival of ancient Celts and Druids – coming as days grow short and nights long in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Composite satellite image of Earth's western hemisphere (North and South America) at night.

    Paul Bogard on why we need darkness

    Light at night may be a sign of life on Earth, but the darkness will proclaim our true intelligence. Check out this video on why we need darkness, from Paul Bogard.

    Star chart showing relationship between star Arcturus and Big Dipper.

    Halloween ghost of the summer sun

    At mid-northern latitudes, the star Arcturus sets about 2 hours after sunset around Halloween. It sets at the same point on the horizon as the summer sun. It’s a Halloween ghost of the summer sun and an echo of long summer afternoons.

    What’s a Blue Moon, and when is the next one?

    We have a Blue Moon coming up on October 31, 2020. It’ll be called a Blue Moon because it’ll be the 2nd of 2 full moons in a single calendar month. And it’ll be near a bright red object in the sky, Mars!

    A star map showing how to find the Andromeda Galaxy from Alpheratz.

    Alpheratz belongs to Andromeda, but is part of the Great Square

    Alpheratz, the brightest star in the constellation Andromeda, can help you locate the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest large spiral galaxy to our Milky Way home galaxy.

    An illustration of Aquarius, this time a younger man, with goat from Capricornus by his side.

    Aquarius? Here’s your constellation

    Aquarius lies in a “watery” part of the sky, near Pisces the Fish, Cetus the Whale, Eridanus the River, and Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish.

    Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

    How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.

    2018 Orionid meteor composite.

    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.

    Earth's night sky above a ridgeline, with a huge purple halo around the Andromeda galaxy.

    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.

    Orange ball with dark markings and white spot at the pole.

    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.

    A graceful ripple of dust in space.

    What is interstellar space?

    You might be surprised to learn that interstellar space isn’t just vacuum. It’s full of gases, elements, and dust – very thinly spread, to be sure – but the building blocks of stars and planets.

    Green streak with large glowing head at lower end, going through clouds.

    Bright fireball widely seen over northeastern Mexico

    A fireball is an especially bright meteor from space. It can start out icy and burn up entirely in our atmosphere, or rocky … in which case a meteorite sometimes falls to Earth’s surface. This bright fireball blazed over northeastern Mexico on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

    South Taurid meteors to peak in October?

    The South Taurid meteor shower rarely produces more than 5 meteors per hour, but has been known to produce fireballs. The shower is long-running. Watch for it in October and November. Considering the moon phase, the weekend starting on Friday, October 16, 2020, might be your best bet for watching.