In the Aug. 5 SN: Seismologists study North Korea’s nukes, souped up solar cells, Larsen C finally cracks through, marshmallow test goes to Africa, bacteria’s mysterious architecture, an entanglement distance record, solar eclipse paths to come and more.
ANCIENT FEATURES Northeast Syrtis Major (shown) is a candidate landing site for the Mars 2020 mission. The bedrock in the region is more than 4 billion years old. Certain ridges there may be the result of ancient hot springs, a new study of similar features elsewhere on Mars suggests.
UNIV. OF ARIZONA, JPL-CALTECH/NASA
QUICK FLASH The light from a distant star may temporarily brighten when a free-floating planet passes in front of the star. This artist’s illustration shows how a rogue planet’s gravity distorts and focuses distant starlight as a ring around the planet.
J. Skowron/Warsaw Univ. Observatory
PUFFED UP Early in its development, a rocky planet may turn into a synestia (illustrated), a spinning disk of vaporized rock that looks like a jelly-filled doughnut with a small, solid core (gray).