Spooky blue moon to illuminate sky on Halloween

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

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Mars will burn bright in the sky tonight as it reaches opposition

Ultra realisic 3d rendering of Mars and Milky way in the backround. Image uses large 46k textures for detailed appereance of the planet surface. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.
Mars will burn brightly in the sky as it reaches opposition (Getty/NASA)

Mars will shine in the sky on Tuesday night as the planet lines up with Earth, looking big and bright as it reaches “opposition”.

Every 26 months, the two planets move close together, until Earth lines up with Mars on the same side of the sun. 

Tuesday night sees the moment of opposition, with the planets lining up at just after 11pm. 

At that point, Mars should be visible to the south east from the UK, astrophotographer Damian Peach told the BBC. 

Peach said, “Even at nine or 10 o’clock in the evening, you’ll easily see it over in the southeast. You can’t miss it, it’s the brightest star-like object in that part of the sky.”

The Red Planet actually made its closest approach to our planet on 6 October, when it was 38,586,816 miles away from Earth

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Katahdin Woods and Waters to celebrate dark sky designation in virtual event

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.

While moving the stargazing to online is a setback for something usually held around campfires, outdoors and away from internet reception, the event is also highlighted this year by Katahdin Woods and Waters being designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association, or IDA.

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Mars At Its Brightest Since 2003 As Moon Visits Venus. What You Can See In The Night Sky This Week

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?

Tuesday, October 13, 2020: Mars at opposition

Tonight the red planet reaches opposition,

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Meteorite Lights up Sky Above Mexico As Hurricane Delta Hits and Earthquakes Strike Country

A fireball was spotted in the night sky above north-eastern Mexico on Tuesday, as Hurricane Delta made landfall in the Yucatán Peninsula and several minor earthquakes struck the country.

The fireball was most visible above the states of Nuevo León, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, which border the U.S., around 10:14 p.m. local time, according to the Global Atmospheric Monitoring Agency—part of Mexico’s Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Research.

Some amazed eyewitnesses—as well as some security cameras, webcams and doorbell camss—managed to capture footage of the fireball as it blazed through the atmosphere.

Cameras in Monterrey—the state capital of Nuevo León—captured images of the fireball briefly illuminating the night sky above the city.

Fireballs are unusually bright meteors—the streaks of light that appear in the sky when small pieces of asteroids or comets enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up. If these objects avoid completely disintegrating and manage to reach the ground

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NASA Reveals Mesmerizing Panorama Of Northern Sky With ‘Sprawling Dark Nebula’


  • NASA has revealed a panoramic image of the Northern Sky taken by TESS
  • TESS is a survey satellite with a purpose to discover exoplanets
  • With its newly improved data collection and processing, TESS will be able to take more precise observations on its next mission

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has taken about 208 photos of the Northern Sky, resulting in a mesmerizing panorama. NASA’s satellite which launched back in 2018 has captured about 75% of the sky in its two-year survey.

TESS, a survey satellite, has successfully carried out its purpose to hunt and discover exoplanets well beyond our solar system. To date, it has discovered 74 exoplanets. Astronomers are currently going through an additional 1,200 candidates, where most still await confirmation. About 600 of these exoplanets are found in the Northern Sky.

The Northern mosaic only displays a portion of the data TESS has returned.

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How to watch Mars rule the night sky in October

Mars will bright and beautiful in the October 2020 night sky.


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. 

Spotting Mars

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.

Mars’ distinctive color is one clue you’ve found

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What To See In The Night Sky This Week

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’

There are two full Moons

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Sky islands and tropical alpine sunflowers at risk of disappearing

Sky islands and tropical alpine sunflowers at risk of disappearing
Páramo with Espeletia plants. Credit: Andrés Cortés, Santiago Madriñán and coauthors

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

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What’s That Really Bright ‘Star’ In The Night Sky? You Have Three Choices

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 Sight

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: 

What’s the ‘star’ shining brightly

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