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See asteroid mission launch September 8

NASA’s first sample return mission to an asteroid launches Thursday at 7:05 p.m. EDT (2305 UTC). Links here to follow the mission online.

Tarzan 5. It looks like a globular cluster, but contains an unusual mix of stars. Image via NASA/ESA/Hubble/F. Ferraro.

A rare relic of the early Milky Way

Terzan 5 looks like an ordinary globular cluster, but has stars of hugely different ages. Some of its stars are similar to the Milky Way’s most ancient stars.

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Small asteroid to pass very close today

Asteroid 2016 RB1 will pass safely – at about the distance of our geosynchronous satellites – on September 7, 2016.

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Brown dwarfs hiding in plain sight

Brown dwarfs are like stars, but too small to ignite fusion in their cores and so shine as stars do. If you saw one, it wouldn’t be brown. It’d be magenta.

NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this view as it closed in on Jupiter's north pole, about two hours before closest approach on August, 27, 2016. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Listen to Jupiter’s auroras

Plus more cool stuff from the Juno spacecraft’s August 27 closest-yet flyby of Jupiter.

The strange mountain on dwarf planet Ceres, called Ahuna Mons.

Update on Dawn mission to Ceres

The Dawn spacecraft is still orbiting Ceres. It went into an extended mission mode on July 1. Some mission highlights and current thinking, here.

ou can tell Earth and the moon’s shadows apart by their edges: Earth’s is fuzzy, while the moon’s is sharp and distinct. This is because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs some of the sun’s light, creating an ill-defined edge. On the other hand, the moon has no atmosphere, producing a crisp horizon. Image via NASA/SDO

SDO sees a double eclipse

Cool video! On September 1, the Earth-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory caught both Earth and the moon crossing in front of the sun.

Close-up of the Philae lander, imaged by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 2 September 2016 from a distance of 2.7 km. The image scale is about 5 cm/pixel. Philae’s 1 m-wide body and two of its three legs can be seen extended from the body. The images also provide proof of Philae’s orientation. Image via ESA.

Philae comet lander … found!

With only a month left of the Rosetta mission, the Philae comet lander has been found wedged into a dark crack on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

This artist's impression shows the Milky Way as it may have appeared 6 million years ago during a "quasar" phase of activity. A wispy orange bubble extends from the galactic center out to a radius of about 20,000 light-years. Outside of that bubble, a pervasive "fog" of million-degree gas might account for the galaxy's missing matter of 130 billion solar masses. Image via Mark A. Garlick/CfA

A quasar Milky Way six million years ago?

As the first human ancestors walked the Earth, our galaxy’s central black hole might have been in the process of blasting away most of the galaxy’s normal matter.

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Space X explosion at Cape Canaveral

No injuries in Thursday’s explosion on a SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral. But Facebook’s planned satellite is no more.