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Earth & Environment

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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.

sun illustration

SIGNS OF LINES  The sun’s magnetic field is connected to one in the corona, which is much weaker and therefore harder to observe. Together, they form a twisted mess, illustrated here as white lines (based partly on a model) over a 2016 image of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Earth & Environment

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