This week in science

SpaceX Starbase and more: Understand the world in 8 images

SpaceX

SpaceX offered a look at Starbase this week, as researchers looked into evolution and history...

Here are the biggest science stories of October 21–28, told in 8 incredible images.

Ken Angielczyk

8. Welcome to the family

Ettore Mazza

October 28

Researchers named a new human ancestor, Homo bodoensis, based on a new study of existing fossils. The fossils come from the Middle Pleistocene — a period when not much is known about human evolution.

Ettore Mazza

7. Tooth or tusk?

Ken Angielczyk

October 26

A study of dicynodonts — relatives of modern mammals that lived before the dinosaurs — revealed tusks evolved independently in several species. The study also shows the first known emergence of tusks.

Marlene Hill Donnelly

6. Halloween flight

Thomas Marshburn

October 25

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance arrived at its hangar ahead of an upcoming launch. It’s set to carry the Crew-3 astronauts to the International Space Station on October 31 and is the first mission flying with a used nosecone.

Thomas Marshburn

5. Summer training

NASA JPL

October 25

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed its 14th flight on Mars. This short flight successfully tested Ingenuity’s ability to fly with faster rotor settings, which will be needed when atmospheric density is lower during the Martian summer.

NASA JPL

October 25

Researchers uncovered a 500-year-old scroll that details Christian devotional rituals in England from around 1505. It’s believed to be tied to a group known as the Cult of the Cross.

Gail Turner / Journal of the British Archaeological Association

3. Up close and personal

Benn et al. UCL

October 25

Scientists published the clearest pictures ever taken of living bacteria. The images reveal that the protective outer layers of some bacteria may have weak spots, which could be more vulnerable to antibiotics.

Benn et al. UCL

2. New planet on the block

Subaru Telescope

October 22

A team of researchers discovered one of the youngest planets ever found around an infant star. Planet 2M0437b — thought to be several times larger than Jupiter — is so new it’s still giving off heat from its formation and can be seen directly through a telescope.

Subaru Telescope

1. Starbase shaping up

SpaceX

October 22

SpaceX released a video showing the progress it’s made on its Starship spacecraft at the company’s Starbase facility in Texas. SpaceX hopes to begin Starship test flights in the next few months, pending regulatory approval.

Elon Musk