The night sky will bring an added treat this Halloween as it features a spectacle that has not occurred in nearly two decades.
Halloween is shaping up much differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic with some communities electing to cancel trick-or-treating to reduce the risk of the virus spreading from one household to another. But in neighborhoods where young masqueraders will be going door-to-door collecting candy, they will have a bright full moon to help light the way.
This won’t be the typical full moon, either — it will be a blue moon.
The moon rises in the sky as seen through the Four Towers, or C.T.B.A. (Cuatro Torres Business Area) in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Contrary to its name, a blue moon does not appear blue in color. It is simply the nickname given to the second full moon in
PATTEN, Maine — A new moon over Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Oct. 15 will allow the darkest skies in the Northeastern United States to be absent of moonlight, making thousands of stars and the Milky Way galaxy visible to the naked eye.
To mark the occurrence, the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters organization will hold its seventh annual Stars Over Katahdin event, along with a new organization, Dark Sky Maine. It won’t be held at the monument as in years past, but will be virtual, meeting the same fate of other events during the time of COVID-19.
Each week I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy and eclipses.
What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: October 12-18, 2020
This week it’s all about Mars, which will look its biggest, brightest and best in post-sunset skies since 2018 and, technically speaking, since 2003.
However, it’s also a week where the Moon wanes towards its New phase, meaning dark skies at night, gorgeous crescents in the early pre-dawn mornings early in the week, and in early evenings from Sunday.
MORE FROM FORBESWhat’s That Really Bright ‘Star’ In The Night Sky?By Jamie Carter
Forget Halloween. This October is all about the glory of Mars. The glimmering red planet will put on a show in the night sky.
You can enjoy Mars as a bright point of light all month long, but there are two special dates to mark on your calendar: Oct. 6 when the planet makes a close approach to Earth, and Oct. 13, when it will be in opposition.
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Mars has a reputation as the “red” planet, but its color in the night sky is a little more on the Halloween side of the spectrum. It appears as a bright orange-red dot to the naked eye, like a little spot of glittering rust.
Each Monday I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy and eclipses.
What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: September 28-October 5, 2020
This week sees the rise of the “Harvest Moon”—guaranteed to be a spectacular sight—before our natural satellite moves super-close to Mars.
It’s also the peak of the Draconids meteor shower, one of the easiest of the year to see given relatively warm evenings. It’s also uniquely convenient; it’s the only display of “shooting stars” of the year to look its best right after sunset.
Thursday, October 1, 2020: The full ‘Harvest Moon’
As temperatures rise around the world, many species may escape the heat by migrating to higher elevations. But what will happen to those species that are already as high as there is to go?
A new study in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution is among the first to predict the vulnerability of ecosystems in the Andes to both climate change and human activities. The researchers focused on biodiversity hotspots, called Páramos, and the most diverse plant species of these ecosystems—-relatives of the sunflower in the genus Espeletia. The researchers’ models predict that these habitats will shrink substantially in the next 30 years without conservation efforts. Beyond this potential loss of biodiversity, this is likely to negatively impact the human populations that rely on these ecosystems as well.
“Páramos are one of the fastest evolving biodiversity hotspots on earth and
Go outside after dark this month and you will see a bright “star” in the night sky.
What is it? The North Star? Absolutely not—the North Star (also called Polaris) is actually the 48th brightest star in the sky. The Dog Star? No, that’s Sirius, which isn’t easily visible at this time of year. In fact, there aren’t any really bright stars visible right now.
So what is it?
MORE FROM FORBESYour Stargazing Guide To Fall: One ‘Halloween Blue Moon,’ Two Eclipses And A Once-In-397 Years SightBy Jamie Carter
Could it be a planet? Almost certainly. Exactly what you’re seeing depends on in what direction you’re looking in the night sky, and when. However, if you’ve noticed an object shining very brightly, it’s very likely to be a planet.
Here’s how to identify exactly what that bright object you keep seeing actually is: