This week in science

NASA GOES-T launch and more: Understand the world through 7 images

United Launch Alliance

sakchai vongsasiripat/Moment/Getty Images

NASA launched a crucial weather satellite the week of February 24–March 2, as research shed new light on potential Covid-19 treatments and the birth of planets.

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

7 stunning images.

CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

February 24

Scientists visualized the brain’s lymphatic waste-removal structures non-invasively and in near-real-time for the first time. Using the new MRI technique to study these little-understood brain structures could aid research on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Onder Albayram, Medical University of South Carolina

6. Impact insights

Craig Walton

February 24

Scientists studied damage to minerals in the Chelyabinsk meteorite to identify and date impacts in its history. The method they used could make dating asteroid collisions more accurate and shed light on impacts in the distant past that formed planets.

Craig Walton

February 25

Scientists grew macrophage cells in a lab, finding that they functioned indistinguishably from cells grown in the body when transplanted. Macrophages are important immune cells that could be used to fight infections and cancer, and this is the first time they’ve been successfully grown in a lab.

Sara Gholamhosseinian Najjar and Michaela Burkon

4. Mars macro photography

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

February 25

NASA’s Curiosity rover captured a striking image of a 1-centimeter concretion formed by minerals left behind from ancient groundwater. The image is a merging of separate shots performed by Curiosity which allows tiny objects to stay in focus.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

3. Cows vs. Covid-19

Jonathan Z. Sexton

February 28

Researchers successfully used bovine lactoferrin, a protein in cow’s milk, to inhibit Covid-19 in lab conditions. The researchers believe treatments based on lactoferrin could be effective against potential future strains as well.

Jonathan Z. Sexton

March 1

Researchers concluded the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in January will have a smaller global cooling effect than previously thought. Sulfur dioxide emitted from volcanoes can cool the global climate, but the Tonga volcano’s location limits the spread of this effect.

Maxar/Maxar/Getty Images

1. How’s the weather?

NASA/Kim Shiflett

March 2

NASA launched its latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-T aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket. The GOES-T weather satellite will help meteorologists predict weather events including floods and hurricanes in the western United States, Mexico, and Central America.

NASA/Kim Shiflett