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The top space stories of the week!

NASA astronauts remember the work and life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the equinox marks the official celestial beginning of a new season and a Saturn moon is more active than once thought. These are just some of the top stories this week from Space.com. 

Last equinox of 2020 arrives. 

The autumnal equinox arrives on Sept. 22, 2018, at 9:54 p.m. EDT (0154 GMT on Sept. 23). (Image credit: Starry Night Software)

The September equinox arrived this week (Sept. 22), marking the celestial beginning of fall in Earth's Northern Hemisphere and the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. During equinox, the sun appears directly over the equator at local noon time. 

Full story: Hello fall! Equinox kicks off autumn on Sept. 22

NASA astronauts remember feminist voice, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg seen in 1993 during Senate confirmation hearings for her Supreme Court seat. (Image credit: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock.com)

NASA astronauts and leadership published remarks on Twitter about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is also known popularly by her initials, RBG. Ginsburg died at the end of last week (Sept. 18). Retired NASA astronaut Mae Jemison was ''shocked and saddened'' at Ginsburg's passing, and current NASA astronaut Anne McClain wrote, ''without RBG, my entire career would have never happened.''

Full story: Astronauts, NASA chief mourn death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Scientists found invisible ultraviolet auroras in a comet.

This series of images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was captured by the Rosetta spacecraft's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Aug. 12, 2015, a few hours before the comet reached perihelion, or the closest point to the sun along its 6.5-year orbit.

This series of images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was captured by the Rosetta spacecraft's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Aug. 12, 2015, a few hours before the comet reached perihelion, or the closest point to the sun along its 6.5-year orbit. (Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)

Researchers found evidence of ultraviolet auroras at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after looking at data collected by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission. This is the first mission to observe ultraviolet auroras at a comet, according to an ESA scientist. Rosetta studied this comet up close for about two years before the mission ended in 2016. 

Full story: Rosetta's 'rubber ducky' comet has ultraviolet auroras

The ring of supermassive black hole M87* wobbles over time. 

The Event Horizon Telescope, a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration, captured this image of the supermassive black hole and its shadow that's in the center of the galaxy M87.

The Event Horizon Telescope, a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration, captured this image of the supermassive black hole and its shadow that's in the center of the galaxy M87. (Image credit: EHT Collaboration)

A new analysis of the first black hole to ever be photographed showed that the black hole's bright ring wobbles significantly over time. The historic photo captured M87*, the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy located about 53 million light-years from the Milky Way. The lead author of the Sept. 23 paper said this work allows astronomers to rule out some theoretical models of the accretion of material into the black hole. 

Full story: Surprise! The ring around M87 galaxy's monster black hole wobbles over time.

Melting ice sheets will add more than 15 inches to sea levels by 2100.

Melting from ice shelves in Greenland and Antarctica (like the Getz Ice Shelf seen here) will contribute over 15 inches to global sea level rise by 2100, scientists have found in a new study.  (Image credit: Jeremy Harbeck/NASA)

A new study shows that melting ice sheets will cause global sea levels to rise over 15 inches (28 centimeters) by the year 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace. Greenhouse gasses emitted by human activity contribute significantly to climate change on Earth. The new study is part of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6), which is led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Full story: Melting ice sheets will add over 15 inches to global sea level rise by 2100

Geyser-filled Saturn moon is more active than previously known. 

In these detailed infrared images of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, reddish areas indicate fresh ice that has been deposited on the surface.

In these detailed infrared images of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, reddish areas indicate fresh ice that has been deposited on the surface. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/LPG/CNRS/University of Nantes/Space Science Institute)

NASA's Cassini mission studied the Saturn system until it ended in 2017. Researchers used spacecraft data to create a new global map of Enceladus. Cassini had previously spotted more than 100 geysers shooting icy water into space from its southern hemisphere, and the new mapping shows Enceladus also experienced recent icy activity in its northern hemisphere. 

Full story: Saturn's ocean moon Enceladus has fresh ice in unexpected place

Space station dodges a piece of space junk. 

The International Space Station, photographed by Expedition 56 crewmembers from a Soyuz spacecraft in October 2018. NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev executed a flyaround of the orbiting laboratory to take pictures of the station before returning home after spending 197 days in space. 

The International Space Station, photographed by Expedition 56 crewmembers from a Soyuz spacecraft in October 2018. NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev executed a flyaround of the orbiting laboratory to take pictures of the station before returning home after spending 197 days in space.  (Image credit: NASA/Roscosmos)

On Sept. 22, International Space Station (ISS) controllers fired thrusters on a docked Russian cargo spacecraft to maneuver the ISS away from a potential collision with space debris. At the ISS's orbiting altitude, space junk flies around at about 17,500 mph (28,200 kph) and that speed means a small piece of debris could cause serious damage to the ISS. 

Full story: Astronauts take shelter as space station dodges orbital junk

See also: Earth may get a new minimoon — but it may just be 1960s space junk

Estée Lauder to send beauty serum into space for an ISS photoshoot. 

A simulated view of the type that Estée Lauder is paying NASA to produce aboard the International Space Station. Ten bottles of the cosmetics company's Advanced Night Repair serum will be photographed in Earth orbit.

A simulated view of the type that Estée Lauder is paying NASA to produce aboard the International Space Station. Ten bottles of the cosmetics company's Advanced Night Repair serum will be photographed in Earth orbit. (Image credit: NASA/Estée Lauder/collectSPACE.com)

Bottles of a nighttime care serum by cosmetics company Estée Lauder will launch aboard the next Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Estée Lauder is paying NASA to launch bottles of one of its most successful products up to the International Space Station (ISS) to create content for Estée Lauder's social media channels. 

Full story: Estée Lauder paying NASA for skincare photoshoot on space station

Blue Origin scrubs New Shepard rocket launch. 

Blue Origin's New Shepard space capsule and rocket on the pad at the company's West Texas Launch Site in January 2019. The same rocket will launch the NS-12 mission on Dec. 10, 2019.

Blue Origin's New Shepard space capsule and rocket on the pad at the company's West Texas Launch Site in January 2019. The same rocket will launch the NS-12 mission on Dec. 10, 2019.  (Image credit: Blue Origin)

An hour before liftoff of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket on Sept. 24, the private spaceflight company delayed the launch time due to weather. But the spaceflight company detected another issue once the clouds cleared, and therefore called off the launch. The potential issue was with the power supply to one of the 12 science experiments onboard the rocket, Blue Origin tweeted. 

Full story: Blue Origin scrubs New Shepard rocket launch due to power glitch

SpaceX performs an explosive pressure test. 

SpaceX's Starship SN7.1 test tank, before it was intentionally destroyed during a Sept. 22, 2020, pressure test.

SpaceX's Starship SN7.1 test tank, before it was intentionally destroyed during a Sept. 22, 2020, pressure test. (Image credit: SPadre.com via Twitter)

SpaceX performed a pressure test on its Starship SN7.1 tank on Sept. 22 at its South Texas facilities. The Starship rocket is being designed to take 100 passengers to distant space destinations like the moon or Mars. SN7.1's predecessor, the SN7, blew up during a June 2020 test.

Full story: SpaceX pops Starship tank on purpose in explosive pressure test

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