No, tardigrades haven’t colonized the sun. But a tardigrade-shaped speck on a solar mission’s images recently led to some joking about the unlikely solar presence of a wee water bear.

Today (July 16), when the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA unveiled the latest images captured by the agencies’ Solar Orbiter mission, some sharp-eyed viewers were quick to point out a small, dark blotch on the left-hand side in one of the image sequences. David Berghmans, a principal investigator for the Solar Orbiter and Head of Scientific Service Solar Influences Data Analysis Center at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, noted during a news conference that the blob resembled a tardigrade: tubby, eight-limbed microscopic animals that are known for their indestructibility.





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