In the April 1 SN: Digital tech on the brain, cancer’s sweet spell, elephant sleep stats, ancient stardust spotted, a hydrothermal cradle of life, nutrition in a changing climate, nesting-doll parasitism, a neutrino trio and more.
IN REVERSE Jupiter’s trip around the sun is accompanied by many asteroids (white), which travel in the same direction as the planet. But scientists have found one, Asteroid 2015 BZ509 (green), that orbits backward.
ON ITS WAY OUT A radiation-gushing supermassive black hole, quasar 3C 186 (second brightest blob in the blue oval), appears to be zooming away from its galaxy’s center (brightest blob in blue oval). The extreme exit may be a result of gravitational waves from merging black holes.
M. Chiaberge/STScI, JHU/ESA, NASA
PLANET OR NOT? A group of planetary scientists label Pluto and many other orbs in the solar system as planets, despite the definition set down by the International Astronomical Union in 2006.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, NASA
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).