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Atom & Cosmos

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balloon practice

SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS  Students practice launching balloons like the ones that will loft cameras to livestream the solar eclipse on August 21.

Syrtis Major

ANCIENT FEATURES  Northeast Syrtis Major (shown) is a candidate landing site for the Mars 2020 mission. The bedrock in the region is more than 4 billion years old. Certain ridges there may be the result of ancient hot springs, a new study of similar features elsewhere on Mars suggests.

Allen Telescope Array

SEEKING E.T.  The Allen Telescope Array, located at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in California, searches for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Astronomer Jill Tarter, the subject of the new book Making Contact worked to construct the telescope in the face of funding difficulties.

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