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Matter & Energy

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Milky Way

CRUNCH THE NUMBERS  Scientists estimate that the Milky Way contains 100 million black holes.

aurora

CHARGED UP  Auroras are triggered in Earth’s atmosphere by the solar wind, a constant stream of charged particles wafting away from the sun. This photo of an aurora was taken from the International Space Station on June 26.

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.

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