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FROM THE EDITOR
A CRYSTALLINE DOMAIN • LOOKING AT THE EARTH FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE
THE BACKSTORY • FROM ORDINARY SUBSTANCES, A PHOTOGRAPHER CREATES A REALM OF EXTRAORDINARY ENCHANTMENT.
Saturn: What Put the Rings on It? • SCIENTISTS HAVE LONG DEBATED THE AGE, ORIGIN, AND ANGLE OF THE BLING ON OUR SOLAR SYSTEM’S MOST DISTINCTIVE PLANET.
Across a human lifetime, the night sky may not seem to change much.
DISK OF RINGS • The varied rings were assigned a letter in the order of their discovery, while gaps and divisions between them are named for astronomers. Tiny “shepherd” moons like Pan, Atlas, Prometheus, and Pandora orbiting within the bright rings maintain the breaks.
DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION
IT PROPELS SEASHELLS • OCTOPUSES ARM THEMSELVES IN THEIR FIRST REPORTED ‘THROWING’ BEHAVIOR.
More organ transplants may be on the way
Can we bring a species back from the brink? • Reintroduction programs restore species to lands from which they have disappeared. For some animals, it’s their last hope for survival.
DAVID MOININA SENGEH • This Sierra Leonean harnessed high tech to solve a painful problem.
A DARK ATTRACTION
Night partners • Agave flowers on stalks up to 50 feet tall lure bats with nectar and release pollen at night, when the flying mammals are active. After producing seed-bearing fruits, the agave is drained of energy and dies. Intensive harvesting for spirits before the plants flower raises their risk of disease and deprives bats of food.
RINSE AND REPEAT • The water used by your household can then do double duty on a lawn or garden. Welcome to gray water recycling.
Rediscovering the Joy • FROM THE SUFFERING HER CAMERA CAPTURED TO THE UNEXPECTED DEATH OF HER FATHER, GRIEF CLOUDED HER LIFE. BUT AS TIME PASSED, THE LIGHT AND THE COLORS RETURNED.
TROUBLED TREASURES • RETURNING STOLEN LOOT ISN’T CLOSING MUSEUMS. IT’S OPENING NEW DOORS.
MANDU YENU THRONE
BUST OF NEFERTITI
COLONIAL COLLECTING • During the age of empires and colonization, when a few, mostly European, nations held dominion over much of the world, the cultural property of conquered peoples was often considered legitimate spoils of war. Colonizers amassed huge numbers of artifacts, many of which ended up in Europe’s great encyclopedic museums. But as more and more nations gained independence, they began demanding the return of cultural treasures. Those demands are now being heard—and, in some cases, heeded.
OUT OF STEP • MOUNTAIN HARES THRIVE IN COLD WEATHER. A WARMING WORLD MAY CHANGE THAT.
HARDIEST OF HARES • Concentrated in Scotland’s Highlands and Southern Uplands, mountain hares have evolved to live in cold climates. In other parts of their range, outside Scotland, the resilient mammals can be found at elevations of more than 12,100 feet.
LIFE GOES ON • Economic collapse. A catastrophic explosion. Failed politics. A refugee crisis. Lebanon’s seemingly insurmountable challenges are testing its people’s indomitable spirit.
A NATION ON EDGE • After decades of mismanagement and corruption, Lebanon fell into a severe economic crisis in 2019. Banks closed, locking people out of their savings, which then quickly lost value. Facing rising violence, decaying infrastructure, and unreliable public services, many have fled their homeland even as refugees have flooded in.
TURBULENT TIMES • Lebanon was created under French control after World War I, following...