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Pluto and New Horizons - The First Color Images and Animations

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is currently on route to fly by Pluto in less than 2 weeks - on the 14th of July. During this pass we will finish the initial reconnaissance of our solar system. When this is accomplished our species will have sent probes to every major body in our solar system - all in less than 60 years. Thanks to science and technology, we have accomplished in a single lifetime what once would have taken centuries.

Credit: NASA/John’s Hopkins

Lonely flatworms inject sperm into their own heads

Consider the lengths that some hermaphroditic flatworms will go to in the name of reproduction. In the absence of mating opportunities, hermaphroditic flatworms such as Macrostomum hystrix self-fertilize by stabbing themselves in the head with their penile appendage and injecting sperm, report biologists from the University of Basel in Switzerland today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 

The researchers suspect that the head penetration is necessary simply because the worms can’t fold tightly enough to get their penile appendage any closer to the ovaries. The sperm then presumably swim through the body cavity to the ovaries where development of a hatchling can begin.

Lukas Schaärer/Flickr/Creative Commons

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This mid-level (M1.2) solar flare was accompanied by a magnificent prominence (filament, if observed on the solar disk) eruption that turned into an impressive coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 18, 2015.

During the rising phase of eruptions, prominences often exhibit complex pre-flare disturbances, typically showing short-lived helical structures in the lower corona. 

Watch the video

Credit: NASA/GSFC