In the March 4 SN: Search for sustainable catalysts, deflating cancer’s defenses, species miscounts, frog spit secrets, an acrobatic bat robot, coconut-cracking crabs, baffling X-ray bump, neutron’s elusive lifetime, Zika’s baby photo and more.
Craters blemish Saturn’s moon Mimas, including a large one that makes the moon look like the Death Star in Star Wars. A lack of cracks on the moon’s surface, though, casts doubt on the presence of a subsurface ocean, new research suggests.
JPL-Caltech/NASA, Space Science Institute
SLOW EATER A supermassive black hole has set a record for the longest meal, slurping on a single star for more than 10 years. In this artist’s illustration of the event, gas from the star (red) falls toward the black hole, while a wind blows the other way (blue).
PLANETARY LINEUP Seven Earth-sized planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1 with short periods, from 1.5 to 20 Earth days. This artist’s illustration shows potential differences in the planets’ surfaces and sizes.
New telescopes and spacecraft will soon help researchers scour our galaxy for signs of extraterrestrial life. But what might aliens look like? And if they do exist, why haven’t they returned our calls? These are just some of the questions addressed in the Science News special report “In Search of Aliens” (SN: 4/30/16, p. 24).