People have a love-hate relationship with plastics. We love the convenience of plastics, but are realizing the disastrous consequences of a material that doesn’t easily break down into natural compounds. Even when plastic does break down, we are often left with micro-plastics. It’s costly to recycle plastics, and not all plastics are recyclable. So scientists have been working to create compostable plastics. This week new progress has been discussed in plastic biodegradability.
In Mars Perseverance news, the little rover has performed another test this week. MOXIE, a little box the size of a toaster, has a big job. It converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, vital for astronauts to breathe or to be able to burn rocket fuel for the return trip to Earth.
For some beautiful photos of a rare weather event, check out this exhibit by the photographer Brian Haislip. He usually takes pictures of storms in action, but this night he captured images of a double moonbow interacting with lightning. A moonbow is a rainbow that happens at night.
For a fun science activity to try at home, Science Friday reminds us about the simple whirligig. All you need is cardstock, string, scissors and a nail to punch holes. There are many ways to modify the design, seeing the effect to images the spinning can cause. Scientists have been playing with a new use too, as a centrifuge.