Using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope, a team of European researchers recently created 3-D simulations of the sun’s spinning magnetic fields (such as this one) to determine why the star’s upper atmosphere is hundreds of times as hot as its surface. They found that the magnetic twisters funnel hot, charged gases up from the sun into its atmosphere. About 11,000 tornadoes—some as wide as 900 miles—spin on the sun at any moment.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.