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2016 solar eclipse

FICKLE FLAMES  Streamers and filaments encircled most of the sun during a solar eclipse in 2016, when the sun’s activity was waning. The Aug. 21 solar eclipse will show physicists what the corona looks like when solar activity has quieted down even more.

black hole jets from M87

REACHING OUT  Many supermassive black holes shoot jets of hot material thousands of light-years into space, like this one emerging from the galaxy M87 about 50 million light-years away. Now scientists have seen the beginnings of such a jet from a galaxy billions of light-years away.

map of next 15 total solar eclipses

IN THE SHADOW  Over the next two decades, more than a dozen total eclipses of the sun will take place around the world.

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