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Deborah Byrd

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 autumn (or spring)!

Harvest Moon 2018 coming up September 24-25

The moon is waxing toward full. It’s nearly time for the autumn equinox for the Northern Hemisphere. That means this hemisphere is due for lovely Harvest Moon rises, soon.

Why your equinox sun rises and sets due east and west

How is it possible for an equinox sun to rise due east – and set due west – for everyone around the world? How can you visualize it? Illustrations here.

Full moon is September 24-25

Here’s why a full moon looks full.

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!

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.

spacecraft voyager 1

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┬ásouth-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!