This week in science

SpaceX splashdown and more: Understand the world through 10 images

NASA

Two historic NASA missions made headlines the week of April 29–May 5, while new species, eco-friendly building materials, and cannabis farming were studied on Earth.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told through 10 incredible images.

Andrey Atuchin

10. Ancient eating habits

Prof. Dr. Walter Joyce

May 5

In Madagascar, an international team of researchers found a nearly complete skeleton and, in turn, identified a new species of ancient suction-feeding turtle, named Sahonachelys mailakavava.

Prof. Dr. Walter Joyce

9. Starlink launch

SpaceX

May 4

SpaceX deployed 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit in its 10th deployment this year. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says more than 500,000 people have signed up for Starlink’s internet service.

Starlink

8. Map of the Moon

Ellen Czaplinski

May 4

Researchers from the University of Arkansas created a map of the Moon’s Schrödinger basin, which they say could one day guide lunar missions.

Ellen Czaplinski

May 4

Researchers from the University of Connecticut developed a process that may help farmers grow cannabis using micropropagation. The technique could lead to more consistent cannabis crops.

Jessica Lubell-Brand

6. A rare aurora

Graeme Whipps

May 4

Finnish researchers determined that a new type of aurora borealis is likely caused by increased oxygen concentration in the atmosphere. New aurora types are rarely discovered; this “dunes” formation was first recorded in 2016.

Graeme Whipps

5. Extra pulp

Céline Montanari

May 4

Scientists from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology developed a way to use citrus byproducts as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil-based polymers in the production of transparent wood.

Céline Montanari

4. SpaceX splashdown

NASA

May 2

NASA’s first commercial crew mission with SpaceX came to an end with Crew-1 landing in the Gulf of Mexico. It was the first pre-dawn splashdown since Apollo 8 in 1968.

NASA

3. Flying farther

NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 30

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed its fourth successful flight on Mars. It was the longest flight yet for Ingenuity, the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

April 30

Researchers from Germany and Spain completed the first anatomical study of Ramisyllis multicaudata, a rare type of worm with a branching body that lives inside sponges.

Ponz-Segrelles, Aguado & Glasby

April 29

Researchers are using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe a Jupiter-sized planet forming in a system 370 lightyears from Earth. They say it could provide insight into how gas giants formed in our own solar system.

ESO, VLT, André B. Müller (ESO)

Read more science stories here.

Graeme Whipps

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