This week in science

Jupiter's aurora and beyond: Understand the world through 9 images

Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

The week of March 11–17 was marked by new findings on the origin of life, a historic moment on Mars, and a dramatic sign of the climate crisis in China.

Here are the week’s most important science stories, told through 9 incredible images.

SpaceX

March 11

A rock on Mars, which will be Perseverance’s first scientific focus, was dubbed Máaz by NASA. Máaz is the Navajo word for Mars and one of several Navajo words to be used to name landmarks on the planet.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS

8. Success for Starlink

SpaceX

March 14

SpaceX successfully launched 60 satellites for its upcoming Starlink internet service. The deployment was the ninth launch for the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellites, setting a new rocket reuse record.

SpaceX

7. Mars on Earth

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

March 15

The biggest sandstorm in 10 years hit Beijing. The dust turned the sky orange and made the air dangerous to breathe.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

6. A mind of their own

University of Waterloo

March 15

Researchers from the University of Waterloo made progress on autonomous, AI-powered exoskeletons which could help wearers climb stairs and avoid obstacles without having to use manual controls.

University of Waterloo

5. Where it all began

Benjamin Hess

March 16

Geologists from the University of Leeds found evidence that primordial lightning strikes were as important as meteorites in sparking life on Earth. They found high levels of a phosphorous mineral important to life in a sample of fulgurite, which is formed by lightning strikes.

Benjamin Hess

March 16

Scientists from New York University found that birds breathe more efficiently than other animals thanks to their looped lungs, which allow for one-way air flow — as demonstrated by the “spherical chicken.”

NYU's Applied Mathematics Laboratory

3. History uncovered

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

March 16

Israeli conservators finished preservation work on 2,000-year-old Biblical scroll fragments they say are the most significant find since the Dead Sea Scrolls.

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

March 16

An international team of scientists completed the first study of Jupiter’s “dawn storm” auroras from start to finish, finding that they move in a way similar to substorm auroras on Earth.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/UVS/STScI/MODIS/WIC/IMAGE/ULiège/Bonfond

1. Pushing back against Covid-19

Fatima Shbair/Getty Images News/Getty Images

March 17

Gaza began vaccinating elderly and vulnerable residents using the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine it received from Russia and the UAE.

Fatima Shbair/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Read more stores on science here.

NASA