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Atom & Cosmos

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illustration of a seven planet solar system

PLANETARY LINEUP  Seven Earth-sized planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1 with short periods, from 1.5 to 20 Earth days. This artist’s illustration shows potential differences in the planets’ surfaces and sizes.

Naica mine in Chihuahua, Mexico

IN DEEP  Samples from fluid pockets in crystals inside Mexico's Naica mine in Chihuahua revealed life-forms that may have been trapped in the minerals for up to 50,000 years.

icy surface of Europa

ONTO THE ICE  This image from the Galileo spacecraft shows the icy surface of Europa. The Jovian moon is a target for a potential lander mission that will look for signs of life there.

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