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Atom & Cosmos

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plasma blob in sun's atmosphere

PLASMA PRECIPITATION  Blobs of plasma can fall like rain in the sun’s atmosphere, as seen in the center of this image of a solar flare from July 2012. New observations spotted such rainfall in other surprising spots.

Saturn moons and simulated moons

SPITTING IMAGE  Simulated collisions between two moonlets can lead to oddly shaped moons (bottom row) that closely resemble some of Saturn’s moons (top row; from left to right: Pan, Atlas and Prometheus).

NOT LIKE THE OTHERS  Many asteroids share Jupiter’s orbit (illustrated, not to scale). Most asteroids travel in the same direction around the sun as the planet. But there’s one moving in reverse, which could indicate it came from outside the solar system.

Atom & Cosmos

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