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Elon Musk and SpaceX announce 1st tourist for ‘moon loop’

Musk said Monday from SpaceX headquarters in California that it will send Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa – with a group of artists – on a loop around the moon and back to Earth in 2023.

Scientists discover earliest human drawing yet

This month, scientists published their discovery of 73,000-year-old cross-hatchings found in a South African cave. It’s now the earliest known drawing and evidence of early humans’ ability to store information outside the human brain.

Here’s the 1st-ever portrait of Earth and moon from a distance

On September 18, 1977, as it headed toward the outer solar system, Voyager 1 looked back and acquired a stunning image of our Earth and moon.

Dry ice frosts a Mars crater

The white markings here are bright residual carbon dioxide ice deposits – dry ice – on the south-facing rim of a pit crater on Mars.

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TESS planet-hunter achieves 1st light

Launched last April, TESS is successor to the Kepler mission, which discovered a substantial fraction of all known exoplanets orbiting distant suns. This 1st-light image from TESS is cause for celebration. Ahoy! New worlds ahead!

All you need to know: September equinox

We have an equinox coming up on September 23 at 1:54 UTC. That’s September 22 for clocks in North America. Details here. Happy almost-autumn (or spring)!

Sunspot Solar Observatory will re-open this week

AURA said the decision was made to shut down the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico because of “criminal activity” and concern about a possible threat to the safety of local staff and residents.

Report calls for direct images of Earth-like exoplanets

A congressionally-mandated report recommends that NASA lead efforts to directly image possibly Earth-like exoplanets, using upcoming technologies. A major goal is finding habitable – maybe even inhabited – worlds.

Mars is closest to the sun today

On September 16, 2018, Mars reaches perihelion, its closest point to the sun in its 2-year orbit. Mars’ brightness in July and August – and a recent global dust storm on the planet – are both linked to this event.

10 years of Large Hadron Collider discoveries

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has generated mind-blowing science in the last decade – including the Higgs boson particle. How the LHC, one of the most complex machines ever created, is helping physicists decode the universe.

1st quarter moon is September 16

The 1st quarter moon comes on September 16 at 23:15 UTC. As viewed from the whole Earth, it’s high up at sunset, looking like half a pie.

Giant iceberg A68 finally pushes off

We saw this break away from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica last year. Now, finally, it’s beginning to drift.

It’s been a year since Cassini plunged into Saturn

On September 15, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn, ending its spectacular mission. Cassini’s last images and final moments, here.