Science last week | NASA turns Webb images to sound, evidence of oldest-known amputation and more

Here are some of the major discoveries and findings in the field of science last week.

September 13, 2022 01:03 pm | Updated 01:03 pm IST

Image of the Carina Nebula captured by the James Webb Telescope.

Image of the Carina Nebula captured by the James Webb Telescope. | Photo Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach

This week has been filled with some amazing discoveries in the world of science. From stunning pictures of new stars being formed in a nebula to finding evidence of what could be the first amputation ever performed on humans, here are some major findings.

1. The mystery of the ‘cocoon’ in Sagittarius dwarf galaxy has been solved

Scientists have finally solved the mysterious ‘cocoon’ which was earlier thought to be part of the Fermi Bubbles emitted from the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The much-puzzled over ‘cocoon’ has been found to be a part of the dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way and is actually formed by gamma rays emitted by fast-spinning extreme stars called “millisecond pulsars”.

2. NASA is converting the images captured by the James Webb Telescope into sound

You can now hear images that is captured by the James Webb Telescope. NASA is adding another layer of experience to the stunning pictures captured by Webb telescope through signification. It is translating the images and data captured by Webb telescope into sounds that can be heard. NASA believes that converting the images will help visually-impaired people to ‘see’ the pictures of distant celestial objects.

3. Webb has peered into the depths of Tarantula Nebula where new stars are born

The Webb telescope has also captured the vivid colours of the Tarantula Nebula. These are the first pictures of the stellar nursery which shows the creation of protostars in its dust clouds.

4. A 31,000-year-old human skeleton shows evidence of what could be the oldest-known amputation

In an astonishing discovery, a 31,000-year-old skeleton of a young adult has been found in an Indonesian cave that is missing its left foot. The part of its left leg reveal that it might be the oldest-known evidence of an amputation. The discovery of the Stone-Age skeleton shows that humans were making medical advances much earlier that previously thought.

5. Remains of a female ‘vampire’ has been unearthed in Poland

In another bizarre discovery, the remains of a young female with a sickle around her neck and a triangular padlock on her foot have been unearthed by archaeologists in Poland. Archaeologists have suggested that the sickle and the padlock signified ancient superstitions from the 17th century which prevented a deceased person from rising back from the dead. The ‘vampire’ also had a silk headdress woven with gold or silver thread, signifying high social status. 

6. A near-complete fossil of an early dinosaur was found in Africa for the first time

Scientists have also discovered a near-complete skeleton of an early dinosaur in Zimbabwe. Found for the first time on the African continent, the skeleton proves a long standing theory that dinosaurs were restricted by climatic conditions rather than physical barriers in the supercontinent of Pangea.

7. Temperatures rising above 1.5 C pre-industrial level may trigger climate tipping points, says study

In a new study, scientists have warned that a rise in 1.5 C may trigger multiple tipping points for the climate. The current rise of 1 C from pre-industrial levels has already triggered some tipping points such as melting of the West Antarctica ice sheets. 

8. Scientists have discovered a protein that could help treat infertility

In other news, scientists have discovered a protein that plays an important role in the fusion of sperm and egg. This discovery could help treat infertility and also aid in the development of better contraceptives.

9. An expedition to Titanic shows brand new details in 8k

Lastly, an expedition to the Titanic has revealed never-before-seen details of the shipwreck in 8K. The high resolution footage has shows the decay and degradation of the shipwreck in minute detail which will help marine archaeologists. 

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