This week in science

Webb Telescope captures Jupiter and more: Understand the world through 9 images

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team, Judy Schmidt

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team, Judy Schmidt

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured spectacular new images of Jupiter the week of August 17–24, as the Artemis I mission got one step closer to launch.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 9 stunning images.

International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURANASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

9. Welcome back

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

August 17

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority announced Kemp’s ridley turtle hatchlings were spotted in the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. It’s the first time in 75 years the endangered turtles have nested in the coastal area, which CPRA attributes to barrier island restoration.

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

8. Off-label

Jan Schlegel / University of Wuerzburg

August 17

Researchers found the antidepressant Luoxetine stops various coronaviruses from replicating by trapping the virus. They also developed a molecule called AKS466 which has a similar effect without the side effects of Fluoxetine and could be a workable treatment for Covid-19.

Jan Schlegel / University of Wuerzburg

7. Superstar

International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURANASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

August 18

Researchers using Chile’s Gemini South Telescope produced the clearest image yet of the most massive star ever discovered, R136a1. Their research suggests R136a1 is smaller than believed — 230 rather than 320 times that of the Sun — but still the most massive known star. Capturing stars of this size is difficult due to their short lives and crowded stellar neighborhoods.

International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURANASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

6. Rebuilding memory

2022 Mishra et al./Journal of Experimental Medicine

August 19

Researchers found increasing neuron generation in mice reduces the memory impairments from Alzheimer’s disease. The new neurons are incorporated into existing neural structures, making it a potential therapeutic target.

2022 Mishra et al./Journal of Experimental Medicine

5. Photogenic science

Roberto García-Roa

August 19

BMC Ecology and Evolution shared the winners of its second science image competition. The overall winner shows the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps erupting from the body of its host.

Roberto García-Roa

4. Mark your calendar

NASA/Joel Kowsky

August 22

NASA’s Artemis I mission completed its Flight Readiness Review after its Moon-bound SLS returned to the launchpad last week. The launch of Artemis I is now scheduled for a two-hour window starting at 8:33 a.m. Eastern on August 29.

NASA/Joel Kowsky

3. Material with a memory

POWERlab / 2022 EPFL

August 22

Researchers discovered the compound vanadium dioxide can “remember” past stimuli in a way they compare to a brain. The material changes shape when exposed to heat, and the time it takes changes based on previous exposures. It’s the first material found with this property and could be developed into a better form of data storage.

POWERlab / 2022 EPFL

2. Ready for its closeup

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team, Judy Schmidt

August 22

NASA released two stunning new images of Jupiter taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. The images show Jupiter’s polar aurorae and faint rings in infrared light with detail only possible thanks to the power of the recently launched telescope.

NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team, Judy Schmidt

1. Walk this way

© Franck Guy / PALEVOPRIM / CNRS – University of Poitiers

August 24

Scientists determined Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a human ancestor, developed bipedalism while still living in trees. The finding shows hominids may have combined bipedal and quadrupedal movement 7 million years ago.

© Franck Guy / PALEVOPRIM / CNRS – University of Poitiers