Atom & Cosmos

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solar flare

SUPERFLARE  Gusts of solar wind from the young sun produced life-supporting molecules, researchers propose. The solar flares probably compressed Earth’s magnetic field (blue lines) and sent particles raining into the atmosphere, as shown in this illustration. 

Martian coastline map

SURF’S UP  Meteor impacts may have generated supersized tsunamis on Mars that reshaped the coastlines of an ocean around 3.4 billion years ago. Red-shaded region shows the reach of the more recent of two tsunamis.

illustration of binary star PB 3877

ESCAPE ARTIST  Binary star PB 3877 (illustrated) is hurtling through the outer reaches of the galaxy and astronomers aren’t sure how it got out there.

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