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Matter & Energy

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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.

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.

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