Vol. 199 No. 10
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Science Visualized



More Stories from the June 5, 2021 issue

  1. Science & Society

    50 years ago, scientists predicted steady U.S. population growth

    The country’s annual population growth rate, mostly stable since the 1970s, is now the lowest it’s been in over a century.

  2. Astronomy

    Mysterious ‘yellowballs’ littering the Milky Way are clusters of newborn stars

    The first comprehensive analysis of the celestial specks indicates they are clusters of infant stars of various masses.

  3. Physics

    X-ray scans explain how the ‘Brazil nut effect’ works

    X-ray CT scans of a box of mixed nuts explain the orientations that let large, oblong Brazil nuts rise to the top.

  4. Particle Physics

    The thickness of lead’s neutron ‘skin’ has been precisely measured

    At 0.28 trillionths of a millimeter thick, the shell of neutrons around the nucleus of an atom of lead is a bit thicker than physicists had predicted.

  5. Astronomy

    Neutron stars may not be as squishy as some scientists thought

    NASA’s NICER X-ray telescope finds that the most massive known neutron star has an unexpectedly large diameter.

  6. Microbes

    These climate-friendly microbes recycle carbon without producing methane

    A newly discovered group of single-celled archaea break down decaying plants without adding the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere.

  7. Space

    Stars made of antimatter could lurk in the Milky Way

    Fourteen celestial sources of gamma rays provide preliminary hints of matter colliding with “antistars” in our galaxy.

  8. Physics

    A clock’s accuracy may be tied to the entropy it creates

    A clock made from a thin, wiggling membrane releases more entropy, or disorder, as it becomes more accurate.

  9. Astronomy

    Saturn has a fuzzy core, spread over more than half the planet’s diameter

    Analysis of a wave in one of Saturn’s rings has revealed that the planet’s core is diffuse and bloated with lots of hydrogen and helium.

  10. Earth

    Lightning may be an important source of air-cleaning chemicals

    Airplane observations show that thunderstorms can directly generate vast quantities of atmosphere-cleansing chemicals called oxidants.

  11. Ecosystems

    Wild donkeys and horses engineer water holes that help other species

    Dozens of animals and even some plants in the American Southwest take advantage of water-filled holes dug by these nonnative equids.

  12. Animals

    A common antibiotic slows a mysterious coral disease

    Applying the antibiotic amoxicillin to infected lesions halted tissue death in corals for at least 11 months after treatment.

  13. Animals

    Mantis shrimp start practicing their punches at just 9 days old

    The fastest punches in the animal kingdom probably belong to mantis shrimp, who begin unleashing these attacks just over a week after hatching.