This week in science

Hubble Telescope spots most distant star and more: Understand the world through 7 images

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA/JPL/ASU

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured the farthest star from Earth ever recorded the week of March 23–30, as scientists found a new target to study Mars’ climate change.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 7 stunning images.

API/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

7. River monster

Davide Bonadonna

March 23

By studying Spinosaurus’ bone density, paleontologists determined that the dinosaur may have submerged itself in water to hunt, rather than using a heron-like wading behavior that other scientists have suggested.

Davide Bonadonna

6. Simulated space

Thesan Collaboration

March 24

Scientists created the most detailed simulations ever of the epoch of reionization — a point in the early universe when light began to spread. The results could be used to help evaluate readings from the same time period by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Thesan Collaboration

5. Early birds

Bill Strausberger

March 25

Researchers found about a third of the birds around Chicago are laying their eggs 25 days earlier than a century ago, and the change correlates with rising temperatures. The change could threaten bird populations by pushing them into competition for food.

4. A look inside

Scripps Research

March 28

Scientists revealed a new method of “clearing” biological samples — rendering them transparent by removing opaque substances like fat. The new process is easier to implement and could lead to better visualization of biological processes.

Scripps Research

March 29

Researchers detailed how frequency-modulated continuous-wave LiDAR can improve the imaging capabilities of robots and self-driving cars. FMCW LiDAR can scan more quickly than standard LiDAR in use now, with enough sensitivity to render facial features.

Ruobing Qian, Duke University

2. Decoding Mars’ climate

Sori et al./Geophysical Research Letters

March 29

Scientists studied ice deposits in Martian craters, finding that ice formation in the planet’s past was driven largely by how Mars tilts in its orbit around the Sun. Understanding what’s behind Mars’ climate change is important for finding when it may have been most habitable.

Sori et al./Geophysical Research Letters

March 30

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spotted the most distant star ever detected, magnified by gravitational lensing from galaxies between it and Earth. The star, called Earendel, was active within 1 billion years of the Big Bang and is more than 12 billion light years away.

NASA/ESA/Brian Welch (JHU)/Dan Coe (STScI)/Alyssa Pagan (STScI)