In the Oct. 14 SN: 2017’s scientists to watch, duel over a real-life Brienne of Tarth, the origin of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays, long-lasting spheres of color, watermelon snow’s downside, support for the Unruh effect, polite robots and more.
STELLAR PETRI DISH The nurseries where stars are born, like Cepheus B (shown), are bathed in ultraviolet radiation. That radiation could make ice act like a liquid and help organic molecules form in space.
K. Getman et al/PSU/CXC/NASA (X-ray); J. Wang et al CfA/JPL-Caltech/NASA (IRL)
BLAZE OF GLORY Cassini burned up like a comet above Saturn’s cloud tops just before 5 a.m. PDT on September 15. This artist’s illustration shows what it may have looked like.
TOUGH INGREDIENTS Saturn’s moon Titan is frigid and lacks water, but it appears to hold one building block for a proposed alternative form of life.