In the July 8 SN: DNA traces many roads to domestication, seeking quantum supremacy, the 25th anniversary of the qubit, bones’ secret messages, how monkeys see faces, redating Homo sapiens, a record-breaking gas giant, strange dragonfly wings and more.
QUICK FLASH The light from a distant star may temporarily brighten when a free-floating planet passes in front of the star. This artist’s illustration shows how a rogue planet’s gravity distorts and focuses distant starlight as a ring around the planet.
J. Skowron/Warsaw Univ. Observatory
PUFFED UP Early in its development, a rocky planet may turn into a synestia (illustrated), a spinning disk of vaporized rock that looks like a jelly-filled doughnut with a small, solid core (gray).
S. Lock/Harvard Univ.
LYING IN WAIT The New Horizons team spread 24 of these small telescopes around southern Argentina to catch a cosmic coincidence.
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).