Space seems to be the place for science news, with many amazing discoveries from the cosmic realm captivating us all this week.
The main headlines were the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves reverberating in the cosmic backgroundand the first map of the Milky Way made with matter, not light, by tracing the galactic origin of thousands of “ghost particles,” or neutrinos. However, we also had distortions in space-time putting Einstein’s theory of relativity to the test, carbon compounds essential to life located in a star system 1,000 light-years from Earth, rare streaks of light above the US indicating a rapidly approaching solar maximum, and a alien planet hiding in our solar system — and it’s not “Planet X.”
Back on Earth, we learn that there is the world’s largest crocodile living in captivity passed a medical with flying colorswe found an incredible video of a 28-year-old lab chimp see the open sky for the first timeand watched a shape-shifting eel with a “remarkably full belly” swim in the deep sea. Sadly, we also learned that White Gladis, the orca that probably started the attack on boats in Iberian waters, may be pregnant at the time of his first strike, and was so hellbent on stopping the boats that he neglected his calf as soon as it was born.
Outside the animal kingdom, we saw a silver medal with winged Medusa in a Roman fort near Hadrian’s Wall, some mysterious Anglo-Saxon ivory ringsand a 2,000-year-old fresco in Pompeii that is definitely not pizza (although it does offer a mouth-watering taste of Roman food).
Of course there is more, from controversial vaginal seeding in Yellowstone’s supervolcano, origin of honey in crumbling mountain peaksit’s definitely been busy, so be sure to check back for the latest science news. Visit the site daily, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagramand sign up to our daily newsletter using the form below to stay up to date.
Picture of the week
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has become synonymous with jaw-dropping, full-color images of some of the most compelling cosmic landscapes in the universe (if you don’t believe us, here are some of our favorites). But, as the new images of Saturn reveal, even unprocessed black-and-white images of the JWST are stunning.
JWST captured the new images of the ringed planet between June 24 and 25 as part of a project to study the rings, moons and composition of the planet’s atmosphere.
Currently, the images are clear — and somewhat eerie — black and white, representing the number of photons collected by JWST’s Near Infrared Camera. Later, scientists will process and colorize the images into something more recognizable. For now, they remain a ghostly and rarely seen image of the planet’s icy rings.
Point your telescope at the sky on Monday (July 3) to see the beauty Buck moon, the first supermoon of the year. Not only will the moon be closer to Earth than usual, but for most observers, the moon will remain lower in the sky than at any other time this year.
The side of the moon that faces Earth will be fully illuminated by the sun at 6:40 a.m. EDT on Monday, but it is best viewed during the previous night’s moonrise as it appears in the southeastern sky. It is in the constellation Sagittarius, and will appear bright and full on the nights of July 2nd and 4th as well.
Of course, you don’t need a telescope to look at the moon, but if you’re interested in getting one, here’s ours choose the bestas well as our guide to different types of telescopes.
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