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.
BRIGHT BURST After two neutron stars slammed together, scientists detected gravitational waves, a burst of gamma rays and a glow from ejected material, shown in this artist’s conception.
NSF, LIGO, A. Simonnet/Sonoma State Univ.
FROM THE INSIDE OUT The best images of the Milky Way are artist’s impressions like this one, as it’s difficult to map the galaxy from our position inside it. But new measurements will give us more direct clues to what the Milky Way actually looks like.
R. Hurt, ESO, JPL-Caltech/NASA
RING AROUND THE DWARF PLANET Haumea’s ring, shown in this artist’s illustration, revealed itself by momentarily blocking the light of a distant star.
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).