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Earth & Environment

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2016 solar eclipse

FICKLE FLAMES  Streamers and filaments encircled most of the sun during a solar eclipse in 2016, when the sun’s activity was waning. The Aug. 21 solar eclipse will show physicists what the corona looks like when solar activity has quieted down even more.

solar loop structures

A TANGLED SKEIN  Splendid loops in the corona protrude from the sun’s surface, seen in this 2014 ultraviolet image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. They are anchored in the sun’s messy magnetic field — so it’s a mystery how they stay so smooth.

giant larvacean

POLLUTED POOP Giant larvaceans (Bathochordaeus stygius) appear to eat microplastics when exposed to them in underwater experiments. The sea creatures could play a role in how plastic pollution cycles through ocean ecosystems.

Earth & Environment

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