This mysterious space rock shouldn’t have a ring — but it does
Quaoar is a small, rocky object that lies beyond Neptune’s orbit. In an unexpected discovery, researchers have shown that this object has its own orbiting ring, similar to those seen encircling planets like Saturn. However, Quaoar’s ring shouldn’t exist, as it is at a distance far outside the theoretical limit at which rings are thought to be stable, and researchers are trying to figure out why.
Research article: Morgado et al.
News and Views: A planetary ring in a surprising place
07:01 Research Highlights
A repurposed skin-disease drug suppresses alcohol consumption in people with alcohol-use disorder, and how volcanic eruptions may have contributed to social unrest in ancient Egypt.
Research Highlight: Pill for a skin disease also curbs excessive drinking
Research Highlight: Volcanic quartet linked to bad times in ancient Egypt
09:26 Air pollution
Exposure to polluted air has been linked to millions of deaths each year. But while much is known about the sources and impacts of outdoor air pollution, significantly less is understood about the pollution that people are exposed to indoors, despite it causing a significant health burden. In a Comment article for Nature, a group of researchers argue for more research in order to inform future public health initiatives.
Comment: Hidden harms of indoor air pollution — five steps to expose them
19:52 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the discovery of a new type of ice, and how caffeine’s kick comes at a cost.
Nature News: Scientists made a new kind of ice that might exist on distant moons
The Conversation: Nope, coffee won’t give you extra energy. It’ll just borrow a bit that you’ll pay for later
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