This week in science

Historic Yellowstone flooding and more: Understand the world through 8 images

Jacob W. Frank/NPS

EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP/Getty Images

NASA’s SLS made a crucial step toward its first Artemis launch the week of June 15–22, while a national park suffered a catastrophic weather event.

Here are the biggest science stories of the week, told in 8 stunning images.

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

8. Blue skies

Michael Jones

June 15

Astronomers discovered a new class of star system, comprising only young, blue stars with no nearby galaxies. Appearing as “blue blobs” through telescopes, the systems may have formed from gas expelled when a galaxy moves through a galaxy cluster.

Michael Jones

7. Defying gravity

ALMA/T. Wong/S. Dagnello

June 15

Astronomers found stars are still able to form in the densest part of the 30 Doradus stellar nursery 170,000 light-years from us. The finding challenges assumptions that gravity from newborn stars would prevent nearby gas from collapsing into more stars.

ALMA/T. Wong/S. Dagnello

6. Swimming with sharks

Jason McIntosh

June 16

Scientists found sharks frequent the coastal waters just outside Miami. They expected sharks to avoid the area and warn this could expose sharks to pollutants and increase the risk of dangerous run-ins with humans. They identified areas that humans could avoid to allow sharks to thrive.

Robbie Roemer

5. You are what you eat

York University

June 17

Researchers deciphered the microbiome of solitary carpenter bees, which the insects develop from their environment rather than from nest mates. They say this approach could identify which bee species and habitats need more conservation efforts.

York University

4. Fourth time’s the charm

NASA

June 20

NASA completed its Artemis rocket wet dress rehearsal on the fourth attempt. A hydrogen leak suspended the test, but engineers hid its signal from the launch computer to complete the launch sequence. NASA needs to analyze the results before Artemis 1 can proceed to launch.

NASA

3. Make yourself at home

University of Reading

June 21

Researchers found evidence that microscopic skin mites acting as parasites to humans may be evolving into internal symbionts. Their limited mating pool has made mites extremely genetically simple, and researchers suggest they may provide unidentified benefits to their hosts already.

University of Reading

June 22

Researchers created fish-shaped robots that can remove microplastics from water while swimming. The light-activated robot swims faster than similar robots of its size (about .5 inches), and is more durable.

Adapted from Nano Letters 2022

1. When it rains, it pours

Jacob W. Frank/NPS

June 22

Yellowstone National Park reopened its south entrance after extreme flooding in the park destroyed roadways last week. Called a “1 in 500-year event” by the U.S. Geological Survey, the flooding was driven by torrential rain, closing Yellowstone for the first time since a 1988 wildfire.

Jacob W. Frank/NPS