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Were the 2 Magellanic Clouds once 3?

A new study suggests that the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds – small satellite galaxies to our Milky Way – might have once had a 3rd companion.

Day and night exactly equal at equinoxes?

We’re coming up on an equinox, a word that means “equal night.” Days and nights are nearly equal across the globe now. Nearly, but not quite. Here’s why.

Supernumerary rainbow over New Jersey

Look slightly inside a bright primary bow, and sometimes you’ll see these fringes. Their numbers and spacing can change from minute to minute.

Life imitates art? Astronomers find Star Trek planet Vulcan

In recent decades, astronomers and Trekkies had fun speculating on what might serve as Spock’s home star. Many settled on 40 Eridani A, about 16 light-years away. Now a Vulcan-esque planet has been found for this star!

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How leaves tell each other about a bug attack

“We often think of plants as being passive and at the mercy of their environment. My jaw literally dropped when I first saw these videos … They beautifully illustrate how active and complex plants really are.”

What is a waxing gibbous moon?

We’ve now passed first quarter moon, and the moon is waxing toward full. Full moon will come on September 24-25, 2018.

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.

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.