This month in Pyeongchang, elite teams of physics and materials science experts from all over the world will dazzle us with ostentatious displays of grace and power. We commonly refer to these experts as athletes. Gymnasts demonstrate their subtle understanding of gravity and momentum. Swimmers and divers master fluid dynamics and surface tension. Skiers harness their knowledge of friction and hydrology, and lugers push their aerodynamics chops to the limits. Olympians, after all, understand science at a visceral level in ways most of us don’t.
Queen Nanny was born in the Ashanti region of present day Ghana in 1686 and kidnapped and forced into slavery in Jamaica. As an enslaved child her plantation worked in extremely harsh conditions to cultivate, harvest and process sugarcane.
Powerful, influential figures exert a irresistible pull, gathering an entourage around them. It’s a pattern that repeats on celestial levels. Our planet has the moon, but also a host of other artificial satellites that we’ve used to boost Earth’s follower count. The sun has planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. But neither can compare to galaxies like our Milky Way, which not only hosts hundreds of billions of stars but also has additional satellites, entire dwarf galaxies that chill in our galaxy’s neighborhood.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is now 3.79 billion miles from Earth, or around 41 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and far beyond the orbit of Neptune. Using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, it snapped these images of Kuiper Belt Objects 2012 HZ84 (left) and 2012 HE85 (right)—and they’re the furthest images ever taken away from Earth.