Vol. 200 No. 9
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Cover of 11/20/21 issue of Science News

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More Stories from the November 20, 2021 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Astronomers may have spotted the first known exoplanet in another galaxy

    The spiral-shaped Whirlpool galaxy may be the host of the first planet spotted outside of the Milky Way.

  2. Particle Physics

    Doubt cast on theorized ‘sterile’ particles leaves a neutrino mystery unsolved

    MicroBooNE weakens the case for sterile neutrinos, but the mystery that shrouded earlier neutrino experiments remains.

  3. Astronomy

    Space rocks may have bounced off baby Earth, but slammed into Venus

    New simulations suggest a way to help explain dramatic differences between the sibling worlds.

  4. Physics

    An atomic clock measured how general relativity warps time across a millimeter

    A record-breaking result reveals the precision achievable by atomic clocks, letting researchers detect slightly faster ticking over a tiny height change.

  5. Life

    How these sea-loving mangroves ended up far from the coast

    On the Yucatán Peninsula, mangroves trapped nearly 200 kilometers from the ocean are part of a “relict ecosystem” that’s more than 100,000 years old.

  6. Animals

    Barnacles are famed for not budging. But one species roams its sea turtle hosts

    Once settled and glued to the substrate, adult barnacles stay put. But turtle barnacles upend this trend, sliding slowly across their reptilian rides.

  7. Animals

    Flamingos dye their sun-faded feathers to stay pretty in pink

    During mating season, flamingos rub a makeup-like rouge on their necks to catch the eye of the opposite sex. They don’t bother once chicks are born.

  8. Earth

    Here’s how ice needles sculpt patterns into cold, rocky landscapes

    Striking stone patterns decorate remote, frigid landscapes. The recipe for these naturally forming stripes and swirls: Freeze, thaw, repeat.

  9. Archaeology

    Lidar reveals a possible blueprint for many Olmec and Maya ceremonial sites

    An Olmec site forged a building plan more than 3,000 years ago for widespread Olmec and Maya ritual centers across Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

  10. Animals

    Tuskless elephants became common as an evolutionary response to poachers

    After poachers tore through a Mozambican elephant population, tuskless females tripled in number as humans altered the species’s evolutionary trajectory.

  11. Animals

    Scientists found modern domestic horses’ homeland in southwestern Russia

    Two genes tied to endurance and docility may help explain the horses’ success in spreading across Eurasia.

  12. Archaeology

    Vikings lived in North America by at least the year 1021

    Wooden objects provide the most precise dating yet of a Norse settlement in Newfoundland.

  13. Archaeology

    The earliest evidence of tobacco use dates to over 12,000 years ago

    Burned seeds at an archaeological site in Utah hint at tobacco’s popularity long before it was domesticated.

  14. Animals

    An agile gecko found in India named after the legendary Jackie Chan

    A hard-to-catch gecko species is named after martial artist Jackie Chan. Skin patterns, like one resembling a galaxy, inspire other newfound geckos’ names.

  15. Physics

    Here’s the physics of why ducklings swim in a row behind their mother

    By paddling in just the right spots, ducklings save energy by surfing their mom’s waves, and pass along the benefit to siblings down the line.

  16. Astronomy

    The fastest-spinning white dwarf ever seen rotates once every 25 seconds

    A white dwarf star that spins every 25 seconds owes its record-breaking rotation rate to a companion star dumping gas onto it.