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SPACE PLACE: Moon phases and new discoveries

Newly discovered exoplanets orbit a star smaller than our Sun.

Welcome to the new month!

Moon phases:
1st quarter - August 7
Full moon - August 15
Last quarter - August 23

This month's new moon occurred on July 31 and was actually a "black moon." That's when two new moons occur during a calendar month. You can think of it as the flip side of a "blue moon" (when two full moons occur in a calendar month).

More on "black moons": https://www.space.com/34162-black-moon-guide.html 

At the end of July, NASA revealed that a spacecraft named TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) identified three new planets outside our solar system. These planets orbit a star smaller and cooler than our Sun. The star was dubbed TOI 270. TOI stands for "TESS Object of Interest."

RELATED: SPACE PLACE: Interplanetary travel time

Credit: NASA

The planets, with designations TOI 270 b, c, and d, have shorter orbits than our home planet. However, each of these new planets is larger than Earth. 

TOI 270 and the planets in its orbit are around 73 light-years away. 

For more on this discovery: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/nasa-s-tess-mission-scores-hat-trick-with-3-new-worlds

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