This week in science

NASA resets Artemis countdown and more: Understand the world through 8 images

NASA/Joel Kowsky

Shutterstock

NASA scrubbed its first Artemis I launch attempt and fixed a Voyager glitch during the week of August 25–31. Meanwhile, the toll of floods in Pakistan passed a tragic milestone.

Here are the week’s biggest science stories, told in 8 incredible images

The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

8. Danger ahead

Vargas Zeppetello et al

August 25

Researchers predicted dangerous heat waves will be significantly more common in future decades due to climate change. Exposure to harmful heat could double by 2100, leaving people in tropical regions with dangerous temperatures nearly every day, and heat waves will occur annually in cooler climates.

Vargas Zeppetello et al

7. Birth of a galaxy

Aretaios Lalakos/Northwestern University

August 29

Scientists learned that X-shaped radio galaxies may not be as rare as they thought after unintentionally creating one in a lab. The shape appears to stem from gas falling into a black hole, causing particle jets to alter the galaxy’s shape. That’s much simpler than earlier theories had proposed.

Aretaios Lalakos/Northwestern University

6. Early risers

Olga Koppel, University of Ottawa

August 29

Researchers found bumblebees aren’t all adjusting well when they emerge from hibernation. Those that awaken before spring flowers appear have more trouble finding food sources, which could put bumblebees and the plants they pollinate in danger as the climate changes.

Olga Koppel, University of Ottawa

5. What’s a few more days?

NASA/Joel Kowsky

August 29

NASA’s Artemis I suffered its latest setback when an issue with cooling the SLS rocket’s engines forced another launch delay. NASA says it’s now targeting a launch on September 3.

NASA/Joel Kowsky

4. A tragic climate toll

BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

August 30

The death toll from flooding in Pakistan passed 1,000 people and an estimated 80 percent of the country’s livestock since June. One-third of the country has flooded after the highest rainfall in 30 years, making it difficult to begin restoring damaged areas.

-/AFP/Getty Images

3. Long-distance repair

NASA/JPL-Caltech

August 30

NASA engineers remotely fixed a glitch in Voyager I. In May, the spacecraft began sending garbled data back to NASA instead of status reports. That resulted from Voyager sending the data through a non-functioning computer, which engineers fixed from 14.6 billion miles away. What caused the mishap is still unknown.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

2. Breaking the rules

Iliana Baums

August 31

Researchers found Elkhorn coral can pass genetic mutations in non-reproductive cells to offspring, contrary to the current understanding of evolution. The finding suggests coral’s reproductive and non-reproductive cells aren’t separate as they are in other animals, enabling a previously unknown way to pass down mutations.

Iliana Baums

1. Africa’s oldest dinosaur

Andrey Atuchin/Virginia Tech

August 31

Scientists determined a nearly complete skeleton found between 2017 and 2019 belonged to Africa’s oldest known dinosaur. Now named Mbiresaurus raathi, the long-necked dinosaur was around six feet long and lived 230 million years ago.

Andrey Atuchin/Virginia Tech