This week in science

First Lucy mission photo and more: Understand the world through 8 images

NASA

NASA’s Lucy took its first in-flight photos this week, as a commercial astronaut crew returned to Earth...

Here are the biggest science stories of November 4–10, told in 8 stunning images.

8. A new eye in the sky

NASA

November 5

NASA released the first images of Earth from its Landsat 9 satellite. Data from the Landsat program helps inform resource management and efforts to fight climate change.

NASA

7. Flying high

NASA/JPL-Caltech

November 8

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed its 15th successful flight on Mars. The latest outing shows it’s capable of sustained flight in Mars’ lower-density summer atmosphere.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

6. Celebrating science history

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames

November 8

On the 126th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays, NASA shared the first X-ray view of Martian soil ever, taken in 2012. The image let NASA determine the chemical makeup of the planet’s surface.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames

5. Splashdown!

NASA

November 8

The SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts landed safely in the Gulf of Mexico, ending their six-month mission on the ISS. The commercial crew mission set a new record for the longest crewed U.S. spaceflight, at 199 days.

NASA

4. It’s full of stars

NASA

November 9

NASA’s Lucy mission returned its first faint images of stars on its way to Jupiter’s orbit. Lucy is the first mission to examine the Trojan asteroids and is expected to reveal insight into the early Solar System.

NASA

November 10

Researchers detailed the evolution and geographic distribution of two giant ammonite species, Parapuzosia leptophylla and Parapuzosia seppenradensis, which grew up to 1.8 meters. The study came after the discovery of 154 new specimens of these rare species.

Ifrim et al., 2021, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0

November 10

Researchers shared findings on nitrogen and disease pathogens released into the ocean from sewage wastewater. The coastal waters of China, India, and Korea were exposed to the most nitrogen, which can damage marine ecosystems.

Tuholske et al., 2021, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0

1. Mistaken identity

John Sibbick

November 10

Scientists discovered a new relative of the iguanodon, Brighstoneus simmondsi, on the Isle of Wight. The study suggests other members of the iguanodontian group may have been misclassified as iguanodons in the past.

John Sibbick