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SOLAR TADPOLES
Using NASA's TRACE spacecraft last year, scientists observed dark features resembling Earth-sized tadpoles swimming in the atmosphere of the sun following an enormous explosion. The explosion produced the powerful "X-class" solar flare, which releases about as much energy as a billion one-megaton nuclear bombs. While matter around the solar flare usually moves away from the sun, the tadpoles -- which scientists now believe are superheated magnetic voids in the plasma -- unexpectedly swim back to the solar surface.
(04/16/03)