This is Katie Hunt, standing in for Ashley Strickland, in this week’s CNN science newsletter.
It’s easy to think of the night sky as a constant source of wonder that has changed little since the dawn of humankind.
But our view of the cosmos is changing because of the proliferation of satellites, such as those launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. In less than a decade, 1 out of every 15 points of light in the night sky will actually be a moving satellite — a big deal when you consider you can only see around 4,000 stars with the naked eye.
This satellite pollution could hamper our ability to detect — and possibly deflect — asteroids.
If you’ve ever poured a beer into a clear glass and left it outside sitting in the sun, it can lead to an off-putting taste. This is because when hops in beer are exposed to strong light, a photooxidation reaction takes place, creating the compound 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol. This is a chemical compound similar to the stinky smell that skunks produce.
Darkly tinted glass can help prevent this process, which brewers have dubbed “skunking.”
While some similar ancient jar sites were discovered by the British in the 1920s, an excavation that took place in 2020 uncovered four previously unknown sites.
Similar jars have been found in the Southeast Asian country of Laos, and researchers there have been fortunate to find jars that were still intact, with artifacts like beads and human remains inside.
However, these most recent discoveries were empty, making it hard to figure out from which culture and when they originated. Researchers hope they might find some unopened jars that will shed light on their mysterious origins.
Indigenous communities across the world have used fires for thousands of years to clear land of extra debris.
Fighting fire with fire might sound counterintuitive, but the practice gets rid of dry vegetation that can alight easily and make for intense flames that are harder to fight. It also makes forests more resilient, making future wildfires less likely.
A long time ago
I’m a cat person, but I’m not immune to a pair of puppy-dog eyes gazing soulfully up at me. Nor, it seems, were our Stone Age ancestors.
It turns out that humans selectively bred dogs to have such irresistible eyes, and they started about 33,000 years ago.
Once upon a planet
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