Like the Perseids meteor shower, we’re back. We’ve got stories on ancient tusks, the surface of Mars, how black holes shaped the early universe, and what your dog is thinking when you eventually, maybe, leave for work again.
I’m Nick Lucchesi, and this is Inverse Daily. Thanks for reading this daily dispatch of new, essential science and innovation news stories. We try to do The Journalism a little differently here, so tell a friend to subscribe using this link.
Coming tomorrow: A long-form guide to cults and deprogramming.
Spy this Mars Easter egg — NASA's Ingenuity helicopter takes an aerial photo that enables viewers to hunt for the Perseverance rover on the ground as the rover itself hunts for ancient life, reports Jon Kelvey:
NASA released its own version of Where’s Waldo?, courtesy of the space agency’s Ingenuity helicopter.
This week, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude of 39 feet above Mars and snapped a photo of the rippled and russet plains of the Jezero Crater. Somewhere in that expanse of dunes, dust, and rocks lies NASA’s Perseverance rover — if you can spot it.
It’s a fun visual challenge, but it’s more than just a cool view for NASA scientists, who, thanks to Ingenuity’s aerial reconnaissance, can now chart better courses for Perseverance as it pursues its mission of seeking signs of possible life on Mars.
More stories from the surface of Mars:
- ExoMars rover: The next big Mars mission is taking off
- NASA finally knows what is beneath the surface of Mars
- Ingenuity photo shows a spectacular new view of Perseverance on Mars
The lives of ancient arctic beasts — There’s still no consensus on how the woollies went extinct, but cases like this one give us insight into the lives — and deaths — of these famed beasts, writes Jenn Walter:
It might seem like we know a lot about the iconic woolly mammoth, but much of its life cycle remains a mystery for scientists. An August 12 report published in the journal Science, however, gives an unprecedented look at how mammoths lived and migrated. Researchers analyzed a 17,000-year-old mammoth tusk found above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s North Slope.
More raw stories from the ancient world:
- When Texas was chaos: This ancient discovery puts the state in a new light
- The real Paleo diet: Scientists debunk ancient food myths
- Scientists discover the ancient birthplace of marijuana
Colin Burke noticed something odd while observing a smaller-than-average supermassive black hole at the center of a nearby galaxy.
There was a major difference when he compared the flickering of light from the cosmic maw with the light coming from more massive black holes. That variability in the flickering indicated that perhaps black holes of different sizes have different surrounding lights — bursts caused by matter sucked into the black hole itself.
Using that, Burke and his colleagues came up with a new way to measure the mass of black holes by looking at the flickering light of their accretion discs.
In the process, they may have a game-changing new method for measuring the mass of black holes and other cosmic dense objects — a tool that can eventually be used to understand how black holes influenced the early universe.
More wavy headlines:
- Can aliens build a Dyson sphere around a black hole?
- A wild black hole discovery has been made
- Bonkers black hole discovery proves Einstein theory right 106 years later
Your dog’s separation anxiety — Nature writer Tara Yarlagadda offers science-backed tips on pet separation anxiety and ways to keep dogs happy when you return to the office. That day is coming for a lot of us. Here’s how to handle it:
One potential cause for owners returning dogs to shelters is behavioral issues, such as separation anxiety. As workers return to offices, owners must prepare their pets for the change in routine and stay attuned to their emotional needs.
Inverse reviewed the science and spoke with experts about the seven essential questions for how to keep pups happy and anxiety-free while you’re away at work.
“It’s important to work with your veterinarian to formulate a plan to help your pet be more comfortable when left alone,” Kristin Wuellner, a licensed veterinarian at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, tells Inverse.
The more you know:
- 5 surprisingly altruistic reasons ancient humans and dogs came together
- How do you cool down an overheated dog? 7 questions to ask during a heatwave
- Is it OK to let your dog sleep in your bed? The science is complicated
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