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National Geographic Pictures of the Year
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Photo: Solar corona

SOLAR CORONA: Magnetic loops
Forces inside the sun throw lasso lines of magnetism 75,000 miles (120,700 kilometers) into the void. Electrified superheated gases make the loops visible and release prodigious amounts of energy.

Photograph by Markus J. Aschwanden, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory. Recorded in extreme ultraviolet from NASA’s Transition Region and Coronal Explorer satellite.
“The Sun: Living With a Stormy Star,” July 2004
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Photo: An elephant splashes in a pool in the Okavango River Photo: A baby harp seal Photo: A saltwater crocodile Photo: Solar corona Photo: A patas monkey clings to a baby Photo: A Jacobin pigeon Photo: A young arctic fox Photo: A Brazilian flea frog Photo: A tigerfish bares its fangs Photo: Two male polar bears play-fight