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    Deborah Byrd

    The sun is becoming active again

    EarthSky community members have captured the giant sunspot region – AR 2781 – currently making its way across the sun’s visible surface.

    Last quarter moon after rising, lighted portion facing straight downward.

    Last quarter moon is November 8

    The moon reaches its last quarter phase on November 8, 2020, at 13:46 UTC.

    Illustration of a multiple black holes orbiting each other.

    Astronomers release a black hole family portrait

    “Black hole family portrait” is a fancy way of saying “new catalog.” But it’s a very important and exciting catalog, released October 28, 2020, by gravitational wave astronomers, containing 39 new signals from black hole or neutron star collisions.

    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.

    Owl in front of the moon, with Mars above

    An owl, a nearly full moon and a shining planet Mars. What more could you ask for Halloween 2020?

    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.

    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 galaxy, with green lines drawn in to indicate magnetic fields, appearing like "tentacles" and emphasizing the galaxy's jellyfish-like appearance.

    The magnetic fields of a jellyfish galaxy

    New work reveals the intricate relationship between so-called jellyfish galaxies, and the magnetic environment through which they move.

    Watch for Earth’s shadow and the Belt of Venus

    Look east after sunset – or west before sunrise – for Earth’s shadow. It’s a deep blue-grey band, curved as Earth is curved, moving opposite the sun. The Belt of Venus is the subtle pink band above the shadow.