This week in Science

Near-Earth asteroid and more: Understand the world through 9 images

The biggest science stories of April 7–14.

Julius Csotonyi

The night sky was in focus the week of April 7–14, with meteor sightings, a near-Earth asteroid, and a remarkable telescope image of a distant galaxy. Back on Earth, new findings illuminated ancient history.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 9 striking images.

Rosen Spasov, MPI-EVA Leipzig

9. Our frisky ancestors

Marek Jantač

April 7

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology uncovered the oldest Homo sapiens remains ever found in Europe, from about 45,000 years ago. DNA within the remains suggests humans and Neanderthals mated much more frequently than was previously thought.

Marek Jantač

8. Invasion U.S.A.

USDA Forest Service

April 8

USDA Forest Service scientists released a comprehensive new report on invasive species in the U.S., intended to help better manage land affected by them.

USDA Forest Service

April 9

Scientists combined data from the Hubble, FOcal Reducer, and Spectrograph 2 telescopes to reveal the M61 spiral galaxy in stunning detail. M61 is 52 million light-years from Earth.

ESA/Hubble & NASA, ESO, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team

6. Lighting up the sky

Jay O'Brien

April 12

Residents of South Florida captured an exceptionally bright fireball meteor streaking across the night sky.

Jay O'Brien

5. A fly you won’t forget

Halil Ibrahimi

April 12

Researchers in Kosovo named a newly discovered caddisfly Potamophylax coronavirus, in memory of the pandemic ongoing during its discovery.

Halil Ibrahimi

April 12

Researchers from the Canadian Museum of Nature revealed how gray wolves survived the last ice age by adapting their diet from horses to caribou and moose. The finding came from comparing the teeth and bones of ancient and modern wolves.

Danielle Fraser © Canadian Museum of Nature.

3. Tyrannosaurus reconstructed

Builder 3D Printers

April 12

The Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Holland sent a 3D-printed version of its Trix the T. rex skeleton to Nagasaki, Japan, where it will be displayed in a dinosaur museum opening later this year.

Naturalis

April 12

An asteroid measuring 12 to 24 feet wide came within 13,000 miles of Earth, according to astronomer Jonathan McDowell, significantly closer than many satellites. The Virtual Telescope Project captured an image of the asteroid at around 185,000 miles from Earth, closer than the Moon.

Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project

1. Honey pot

Goethe University

April 14

Researchers from the University of Bristol found evidence that the Nok people of West Africa were processing beeswax in pottery 3,500 years ago. It’s the earliest evidence of people using bee products in the region

Goethe University

Read more stories on science here.

Peter Breunig

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