We’ve hacked the Curiosity rover to learn how mountains form on Mars

newscientist.com – Hacking the Curiosity rover let researchers measure the density of the rocks it was driving over, revealing that Martian mountains may not form how we thought

Source: Kevin W. Lewis, et al. A surface gravity traverse on Mars indicates low bedrock density at Gale crater. Science, 2019.

Jupiter's Gravitational Mystery May Have Been Caused By Collision With Another Planet

science20.com – The Juno mission, designed to help scientists better understand Jupiter's origin and evolution, was launched in 2011 to map its gravitational and magnetic fields and probe the planet's deep, internal structure.It's found some mysterious gravitational readings which experts infer mean Jupiter's core is less dense and more extended that expected.&nbs

Source: Shang-Fei Liu, et al. The formation of Jupiter’s diluted core by a giant impact. Nature, 2019.

Airborne Plastic Is Blowing All the Way to the Arctic

sciam.com – Tiny plastic particles have turned up in samples of Arctic snow, pointing to their ubiquity in the environment

Source: Melanie Bergmann, et al. White and wonderful? Microplastics prevail in snow from the Alps to the Arctic. Science Advances, 2019.

An Innovative Robotic Exosuit Boosts both Walking and Running

sciam.com – The soft wearable could prove useful for military applications, emergencies and medical rehabilitation

Source: Jinsoo Kim, et al. Reducing the metabolic rate of walking and running with a versatile, portable exosuit. Science, 2019.

Researchers Discover New Pain Organ in Human Skin

sci-news.com – A team of scientists at Karolinska Institutet has discovered a previously unknown meshlike organ in the skin that is sensitive to painful mechanical damage, such as pricks and impacts.

Source: Hind Abdo, et al. Specialized cutaneous Schwann cells initiate pain sensation. Science, 2019.

Neanderthal's Got 'Surfer's Ear' A Lot, Study Says

discovermagazine.com – Exostoses, bony growths in the ear, hint that Neanderthals spent a lot of time foraging in aquatic environments.

Source: Erik Trinkaus, Mathilde Samsel, Sébastien Villotte, Michael D. Petraglia. External auditory exostoses among western Eurasian late Middle and Late Pleistocene humans. PLOS ONE, 2019.

Earth-Sized Exoplanet LHS 3844b is Similar to Mercury, Astronomers Say

sci-news.com – LHS 3844b, a 1.3-Earth-radii terrestrial world in an 11-hour orbit around the small nearby star LHS 3844, very likely has little to no atmosphere and could be covered in the same cooled volcanic material that comprises the dark lunar regions known as mare, according to new research.

Source: Laura Kreidberg, et al. Absence of a thick atmosphere on the terrestrial exoplanet LHS 3844b. Nature, 2019.

Mauna Kea Astronomy: Something Weird Happened to the Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way 26,000 Years Ago

science20.com – Now they tell us. After 20 years of watching Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of our galaxy (that's right, no matter what astrology sign you pretend to be, we're all Sagittarius), in May astronomers saw something they'd never seen before.

Source: Tuan Do, et al. Unprecedented variability of Sgr A* in NIR. arXiv, 2019.

Cyclocarbon: New Form of Carbon Synthesized

sci-news.com – A team of researchers from the University of Oxford and IBM Research-Zürich has, for the first time, synthesized and characterized a ring of 18 carbon atoms.

Source: Katharina Kaiser, et al. An sp-hybridized molecular carbon allotrope, cyclo[18]carbon. Science, 2019.

Glitch in Vela Pulsar Provides Unique Opportunity to Study Neutron Star’s Interior

sci-news.com – In a new study, a team of astronomers from Monash University, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), McGill University, and the University of Tasmania, analyzed data from the 2016 glitch of a neutron star known as the Vela pulsar.

Source: Gregory Ashton, Paul D. Lasky, Vanessa Graber, Jim Palfreyman. Rotational evolution of the Vela pulsar during the 2016 glitch. Nature Astronomy, 2019.