This week in science

Hurricane Ida seen by NASA and more: Understand the world through 9 images

Jason West (NASA GSFC / ADNET)

From Hurricane Ida to the Perseverance rover...

Here are the biggest science stories from August 26 to September 1, told in 9 stunning images.

NASA

9. (Intentionally) good boys

Josepha Erlacher

September 1

Researchers found dogs are able to tell the difference between intentional and unintentional behavior by humans. Dogs in the study were less likely to go after treats that they had been intentionally denied.

Josepha Erlacher

8. Does Justin Bieber look like Vladimir Putin?

Jonathan Freeman

September 1

A study by psychologists found that believing two people have similar personalities makes observers perceive them as looking alike. The finding shows that visual perception can be biased by knowledge and beliefs.

Jonathan Freeman

7. Charged up

Veenasri Vallem

August 31

Researchers developed a stretchy liquid metal device that turns mechanical energy from movement into electricity and works even underwater. The device could be used in medical applications or to harvest power from ocean waves.

Veenasri Vallem

6. Where there’s smoke

National Weather Service

August 31

Smoke from wildfires in California was visible from National Weather Service and NOAA satellites as it spread across the United States. The 2021 wildfire season is predicted to be the most destructive on record.

Gallo Images/Gallo Images/Getty Images

5. Microbe miners

ESA/NASA

August 31

An ESA experiment revealed microbes are able to extract vanadium — used to strengthen steel — from rock in microgravity. The process, known as biomining, could help future astronauts obtain materials they need in space, rather than relying solely on shipments from Earth.

ESA/NASA

4. Deep thoughts

Alipasha Vaziri

August 30

Using a new microscopy technique, researchers captured a clear image of one million neurons firing in a mouse’s brain. The new visualization method could help scientists examine brain activity more closely than ever.

Alipasha Vaziri

3. If you can’t take the heat

Jack Dorsey

August 29

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shared a photo of SpaceX’s Starship during a trip to Starbase in Texas. The photo shows the rocket’s heat tiles, designed to withstand the incredible heat generated on atmospheric entry.

Jack Dorsey

2. Landfall in Louisiana

NASA Earth Observatory

August 29

NASA captured Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana. Hurricane Ida is estimated to be the fifth strongest hurricane ever to hit the continental United States.

NASA Earth Observatory

1. Sneak peek

NASA

August 27

NASA’s Perseverance rover shaved off the outer layer of a rock dubbed Rochette to examine whether it’s a good candidate for sampling. Collecting rock samples for study is a major part of Perseverance’s Mars mission.

NASA

Read more science stories here.

Josepha Erlacher