This mysterious space rock shouldn’t have a ring — but it does

0:46 The mysterious ring in the distant Solar System

Quaoar is a small, rocky object that lies beyond Neptune’s orbit. In an unexpected discovery, researchers have shown that this object has its own orbiting ring, similar to those seen encircling planets like Saturn. However, Quaoar’s ring shouldn’t exist, as it is at a distance far outside the theoretical limit at which rings are thought to be stable, and researchers are trying to figure out why.

Research article: Morgado et al.

News and Views: A planetary ring in a surprising place

07:01 Research Highlights

A repurposed skin-disease drug suppresses alcohol consumption in people with alcohol-use disorder, and how volcanic eruptions may have contributed to social unrest in ancient Egypt.

Research Highlight: Pill for a skin disease also curbs excessive drinking

Research Highlight: Volcanic quartet linked to bad times in ancient Egypt

09:26 Air pollution

Exposure to polluted air has been linked to millions of deaths each year. But while much is known about the sources and impacts of outdoor air pollution, significantly less is understood about the pollution that people are exposed to indoors, despite it causing a significant health burden. In a Comment article for Nature, a group of researchers argue for more research in order to inform future public health initiatives.

Comment: Hidden harms of indoor air pollution — five steps to expose them

19:52 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the discovery of a new type of ice, and how caffeine’s kick comes at a cost.

Nature News: Scientists made a new kind of ice that might exist on distant moons

The Conversation: Nope, coffee won’t give you extra energy. It’ll just borrow a bit that you’ll pay for later

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