Science and history news you may have missed this week

Science and history news you may have missed this week

1) In a groundbreaking discovery, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has peered into the ancient universe, identifying the two farthest galaxies ever observed. These galaxies, dating back a mere 300 million years after the Big Bang, are the earliest ever witnessed. The most distant one is particularly surprising, not just for its extreme remoteness but also for its unexpected size and brightness. This revelation promises to shed new light on the universe’s formation.

2) Parts of the Midwest and South of the US are gripped in the spring/summer of cicadas, with broods emerging from the underground after 13 and 17 years. A rare genetic mutation turned a Brood XIII cicada’s eyes bright blue, which was spotted by a lucky 4-year-old.

3) Evidence from Laili rock shelter suggests that the initial inhabitants of Australia, who arrived some 65,000 years ago, came by way of New Guinea, with Timor and other southern islands being colonized by a subsequent wave of settlers, around 50,000 years ago.

4) China’s Change-6 landed on the far side of the Moon on June 2 and is now returning with soil samples from the far side. It is expected to be back by June 25. China is the only country to have landed on the side of the Moon that always faces away from the Earth.

5) The WHO has said it was awaiting the full genetic sequence data of the bird flu virus after a man died of bird flu in Mexico in the first confirmed human infection with the H5N2 strain.

No further infections linked to the case have been detected thus far.

6) A recent study by a joint team from the National Park Service, UC Davis, and the US Geological Survey revealed a concerning trend in Alaska. Rivers and streams in the Brooks Range, once clear, have become cloudy and orange over the past decade. The culprit? Toxic metals leaching from thawing permafrost.

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