Our Expert Voices conversation about the 2017 solar eclipse.

Anyone who has ever seen a picture of Earth taken from deep space can be forgiven for thinking of these two words: "splendid isolation." But nothing could be further from the truth: Earth is profoundly connected to our star and the total solar eclipse drives this point home, scientifically and spiritually.

New view: Years ago, Big Thinkers held Earth and the Sun to be a system. Now we know that they weren't thinking big enough. Like Earth, every world in the solar system is connected to its star. The fingerprints of solar activity stretch from the bright core of the Sun to the surface chemistry of Mercury and the tattered atmosphere of Mars to the dark void 5 billion miles beyond Pluto where the Sun's magnetic field piles up against the plasma clouds of interstellar space. The central role of the Sun puts us just one degree of separation away from scores of planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, and comets throughout the solar system.

The bottom line: The Sun's domain is huge — and hugely complex. We need to apply the intellectual tools of astrophysics, magnetospheric physics, atmospheric chemistry, aeronomy, meteorology, geophysics, and electrical engineering — threads of science that have long been separated by artificial boundaries and academic labels — in order to fully understand its effect on Earth and other worlds.

Other voices in the conversation:

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Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.