neighborhood of stars packed tightly together (illustrated)

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE   A neighborhood of stars packed tightly together (illustrated) might heat interstellar space enough for an orphaned planet wandering nearby to have liquid water on its surface and, therefore, potential for life.

brightest galaxy

WEAR SHADES  Light pours out of the brightest known galaxy (illustrated), which is about 350 trillion times as bright as the sun. 

dino egg

BLUE HUE  Fossilized eggshells of the dinosaur Heyuannia huangi harbor pigments that would have colored the shells in shades of blue and brown.

Cranium 17

FOUL PLAY  Cranium 17 was pieced together from 52 bone fragments fished from Spain’s Sima de los Huesos cave. Dating back 430,000 years, the skull exhibits signs of two traumatic injuries above the left eye, at least one of which proved fatal.



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