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child drinking

THIRSTY WORLD  A child drinks water at a well in South Sudan, a country in which only half the population has ready access to clean drinking water. 

Emiliania huxleyi phytoplankton

OCEAN SPHERE  Phytoplankton called Emiliania huxleyi (one shown) are covered in tiny calcium carbonate platelets. When infected with a virus, the algae lose the platelets quickly.


SLOWLY BUT SHORELY  The Maldives (its capital, Malé, shown) has long been a poster child for vulnerability to rising seas, with more than 400,000 people living across low-lying atolls in the Indian Ocean. A 2017 study suggests that weakened monsoon winds have curtailed ocean circulation, leading to sea levels rising faster than the global average around the island nation.

Parker probe in rocket

RARING TO GO  The Parker Solar Probe is shown here on July 16, 2018, mounted atop the final rocket stage that will take it to the sun and next to part of the casing that will protect it during launch. The probe is set to launch from Cape Canaveral on August 11.

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