Current Issue

Vol. 199 No. 10

Reviews & Previews

Science Visualized

Notebook

Features

More Stories from the June 5, 2021 issue

  1. two people on a snowmobile
    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.

    By
  2. 'yellowballs' in Milky Way, circled
    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.

    By
  3. mixed nuts
    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.

    By
  4. a central component of the Lead Radius Experiment
    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.

    By
  5. illustration of a neutron star as a bright orb on a black background
    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.

    By
  6. Tengchong Yunnan hot springs in China
    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.

    By
  7. map of Milky Way showing possible antistars
    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.

    By
  8. a wall of old-fashioned clocks
    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.

    By
  9. planet Saturn
    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.

    By
  10. Lightning storm in Texas
    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.

    By
  11. a kulan digging a hole in the ground
    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.

    By
  12. divers testing coral disease treatments
    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.

    By
  13. black and white image of a mantis shrimp larva
    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.

    By