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.
ANCIENT FEATURES Northeast Syrtis Major (shown) is a candidate landing site for the Mars 2020 mission. The bedrock in the region is more than 4 billion years old. Certain ridges there may be the result of ancient hot springs, a new study of similar features elsewhere on Mars suggests.
UNIV. OF ARIZONA, JPL-CALTECH/NASA
SEEKING E.T. The Allen Telescope Array, located at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in California, searches for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Astronomer Jill Tarter, the subject of the new book Making Contact worked to construct the telescope in the face of funding difficulties.
Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
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.
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).