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Atom & Cosmos

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diagram of Sprite

THE ITSY-BITSY SPACECRAFT  Prototypes of tiny spacecraft called Sprites are being tested in low Earth orbit. Similarly tiny probes may someday fly to Alpha Centauri.

2017 total solar eclipse

TOTALLY AMAZING  Keon Gibson, an intern for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, shot the moment of totality through a telescope atop Casper Mountain, Wyo., on August 21. The corona stretches around the moon-blocked sun. The planet Mercury is visible in the bottom left.

FROZEN POLES  New simulations suggest that nighttime cooling of clouds of water-ice can create rapid plumes of snow that might deposit some of the snow seen at Mars’ poles.

Atom & Cosmos

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