Scientists Made an Optical Illusion That Will Trick Your Brain and Eyes

Plus: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and Artemis updates, a super-cool retro computer game, a 3D-printed "living ear," a liver that survived outside a human for three days, and much more! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
                                                                                                                                                                               
CNET Science


Hey friends!

Linked above, we have a story about an optical illusion that is mind-bending enough to legitimately trick your pupils into dilating. Yeah. Sorry, I couldn't hold this one in -- I needed to tell you ASAP because it is so cool. I think I stared at it long enough to feel slightly unwell. So be careful with that.

OK, but mostly, the spotlight is on NASA news this week. To start, we have a crucial date to mark on our calendars. One of my favorite science achievements in the past few years -- the James Webb Space Telescope -- is set to bring us its very first images of the deep universe quite soon. The agency has a deadline, and I am most definitely on the edge of my seat. Details on this are linked below as our top story.

If you’ve been following NASA’s Artemis moon mission saga, it appears the Artemis team has finally decided to roll the SLS rocket back to the pad. Take 2 (3? 4?) on testing should commence shortly. And looking farther into the future, the agency has also announced who will be in charge of cool new astronaut spacesuits for future Artemis missions that’ll have a crew onboard. They also released information about a couple of innovative science instruments that could help unlock a lunar mystery.

In the medical world, transplants have been trailblazing. One team of physicians took a damaged donor liver, placed it in a body-biology-mimicking machine for a few days, repaired the organ, then transplanted it into a person in need of a new liver. It was a success. Then, across the world, another team 3D-printed a “living ear” for a patient -- with the patient’s own cells -- and transplanted it thereafter. It was also successful. I highly recommend you check out the science of how all this went down -- I truly love futuristic medicine.

We’ve got all of this linked below too, as well as many other awesome stories for you read. Oh, and one retro-style computer game about space that you can play right in your browser. It’s super cute.

And now, the mail.

📧The Mailbag📧


CNET Reader asks: When returning to Earth from the moon, why is the angle so critical for reentry?

Hi there, thanks for the question! In short, it’s because of Earth’s atmosphere. When objects fall head-on into and rapidly through our planet’s protective layer, or atmosphere, that stuff basically heats up -- and often burns up. So, to prevent reentering spacecraft from being destroyed, scientists need to figure out the perfect angle and speed at which to bring it through the atmosphere. This perfect angle is super-hard to find, though, because, on one hand, it can’t be too steep because of the whole burning up thing, but on the other hand, it can’t be too flat because then the spacecraft will skip off the atmosphere kind of like skipping a rock on a pond.

Hope that helps!

Whenever you like, send science questions, thoughts, comments, chats, space-based worries, philosophical ponderings to my email or message me on Twitter! And if you're enjoying this column, please do forward it to your friends!

Enim scientia et astra!

Until next time friends,
Jackson
Monisha Ravisetti Monisha Ravisetti
Science Writer, CNET
NASA Announces Arrival Date of First Webb Space Telescope Images
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