This week in science

NASA's X-59 QueSST and more: Understand the world in 7 images

Krystal Tolley

NASA’s supersonic X-59 QueSST aircraft took shape the week of July 29–August 5, as scientists rediscovered a lost species and found a link between pollution and mental health.

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

Jacobson/NIST

August 2

Researchers found fluctuating sea levels can affect the timing of volcanic eruptions on the island of Santorini. The finding could help predict the likelihood of eruptions on other volcanic islands.

Dr. Ralf Gertisser (Keele University)

6. A sustainable solar future?

Jakob Bilger

August 2

Researchers created a new type of luminescent material using manganese. The development could lead to cheaper, safer versions of existing compounds that convert sunlight into energy.

Jakob Bilger

5. Lost and found

Krystal Tolley

August 2

One of the world’s rarest chameleons, once thought extinct, has been rediscovered in Malawi. Chapman’s Pygmy Chameleons were found in three locations, but are still critically endangered.

Krystal Tolley

4. Supersonic

Lockheed Martin

August 3

NASA engineers began assembling the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST), a supersonic jet designed to produce a quieter sonic boom. If tests are successful, it could help end a ban on supersonic travel over land.

Lockheed Martin

August 4

An analysis of two decades-long studies found air pollution is linked to higher dementia risk. An increase of 1 microgram of particulate matter per cubic meter can raise dementia risk by 16 percent.

Magali Blanco/University of Washington

August 4

Researchers completed the first petrological and chemical analysis of a Stonehenge megalith since the 19th century. Studies in the 20th century have focused on debris from Stonehenge, rather than specific stones.

D. Nash et al., PLOS ONE (2021)

1. Seeing in the dark

Burrows/JILA

August 5

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology created a quantum sensor made of beryllium ions that could help detect dark matter. The sensor is 10 times more sensitive to electric fields than comparable existing sensors.

Burrows/JILA

Read more science stories here.

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