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total solar eclipse

COMING INTO VIEW Total solar eclipses let scientists see what’s happening in the corona, the site of some of the sun’s most interesting physics.

example of gravitational lensing

TRICK OF THE LIGHT  Einstein showed that spacetime warps around massive bodies and makes light take different paths, as shown in this stellar smile in which a red galaxy distorts the light from a more distant blue galaxy.

time lapse of solar eclipse

Each day until August 21, astronomy writer Lisa Grossman will explore the top questions scientists will tackle during the 2017 total solar eclipse.

sunlight in the atmosphere

DOWN FROM ABOVE  Sunlight strips electrons from atoms in the atmosphere, creating a charged layer called the ionosphere. But that process stops without direct sunlight — like during a solar eclipse.

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