Giant Fissures Are Opening Up In The US, Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Are On The Way, And Much More This Week

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This week JWST has confirmed the universe’s rate of expansion and it’s causing some confusion, it’s been found that crows are capable of performing statistical inferences in decision-making, and researchers say we’ve now breached six of the nine “planetary boundaries” for sustaining human civilization. Finally, we investigated how images of black holes are taken.

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“It’s Something We’ve Caused”: Giant Fissures Are Opening Up In The US

Giant fissures have been appearing in the ground across the southwest US. In southcentral Arizona alone, 272 kilometers (169 miles) of these cracks have been mapped, while they have also appeared in Utah, California and Texas. However, the cracks are not natural formations – they are something we’ve caused. Read the full story here

JWST Confirms Universe’s Rate Of Expansion And One Of Physics’ Biggest Mysteries

The JWST has confirmed the results of lesser telescopes as to how fast the universe is expanding. Instead of settling physics debates, this makes things worse, because the previous measurements contradict what astronomers think should be happening, based on the echoes of the Big Bang. This (probably) doesn’t mean we need to throw out most of what we think we know about cosmology, as some popular articles claim, but it does leave a significant problem to solve. Read the full story here

For First Time, Crows Have Been Found To Use Statistical Inference To Make Decisions

Crows are highly intelligent members of the corvid family, and while they may be easily confused with ravens, a recent study has revealed that they are capable of using statistical inference. Two crows were trained to associate nine different images with reward probabilities from 10, 20, and 30 through to 90 percent. Read the full story here

Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Are Officially On The Way

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Moderna and Pfizer approval to update their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, in the hopes of tackling the latest variants of SARS-CoV-2. Although deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are lower than in previous years, a recent summer increase in outbreaks of the virus – and, consequently, an uptick in illness and hospitalization – has been a cause for concern. Read the full story here

We’ve Breached Six Of The Nine “Planetary Boundaries” For Sustaining Human Civilization

The Earth’s ability to support large-scale human societies is in danger of expiring thanks to our continued reliance on environmentally destructive practices. According to an alarming new study, we’ve now transgressed six of the nine “planetary boundaries” that delineate the upper limits of damage that the Earth can take while continuing to provide hospitable living conditions for our species. Read the full story here

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Feature of the week: 

How Did We Actually Take A Picture Of A Black Hole?

Four years ago, we got a glimpse at the very first image of the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, followed up last year by imaging of our very own SMBH. Now, more examples are coming, so perhaps it’s a good time to consider how these pictures are actually taken. Read the full story here


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