NASA, Webb telescope, Hubble, cosmos, new Pillars of Creation capture
Photo credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

James Webb Telescope Captures ‘Pillars of Creation’ (Maria)

The author writes, “NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured a lush, highly detailed landscape — the iconic Pillars of Creation — where new stars are forming within dense clouds of gas and dust. The three-dimensional pillars look like majestic rock formations, but are far more permeable. These columns are made up of cool interstellar gas and dust that appear — at times — semi-transparent in near-infrared light. Webb’s new view of the Pillars of Creation … will help researchers revamp their models of star formation by identifying far more precise counts of newly formed stars.”

As Campaign Norms Erode, Even Debates Are Under Debate (Russ)

From The New York Times: “Candidates for senator or governor routinely used to participate in two or three debates. Now some are skipping them altogether. Retail politicking at diners and state fairs is no longer the cliché it was for generations. And town-hall-style meetings, where citizens get to question their elected leaders and those running to replace them, have given way to the online echo chamber. In midterm campaigns across the country, direct political engagement has been falling away, victim to security concerns, pandemic-era workarounds, and Republican hostility to the mainstream media.”

Congress Investigates How Mississippi Spent Federal Funds Amid Jackson Water Crisis (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Two congressional committees want Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to explain how the country’s poorest state is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds as its predominantly Black capital city struggles with crumbling water infrastructure. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., sent the request in a letter to Reeves on Monday as part of an investigation by the Homeland Security and the Oversight and Reform committees into a safe drinking water crisis that at its height left thousands of Jackson residents without running water this summer.”

US Midterm Elections: Does Finland Have the Answer to Fake News? (Mili)

The authors write, “The Finnish school system is the cornerstone of the fight against fake news. Critical thinking and media literacy have been part of the curriculum for a very long time. The curriculum was revised in 2016 to teach children the skills they needed to spot the kind of fabricated information that spread on social media during the US election campaign. ‘We teach critical thinking across several subjects. For example in maths classes we look at how statistics can be manipulated,’ explains Marika Kerola, a teacher in the northern city of Oulu.”

Africa Wants Its Climate Money. Will Rich Countries Pay? (Laura)

From Mongabay: “This year’s [COP17] summit [in Egypt] is the first on the African continent since 2017, when it was held in Morocco. For negotiators and climate advocates based there, many of whom are deeply frustrated with the direction of international climate policy, COP27 is a crucial opportunity to make Africa’s case for more financing and support. And for their wealthy-country counterparts, distracted by geopolitical crises as they may be, the window is narrowing to prove that they’re willing to turn sympathetic rhetoric into a plan of action for the continent.”

Alaska Cancels Snow Crab Season Over Population Decline (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Alaska officials have canceled the upcoming snow crab season, due to population decline across the Bering Sea. The fall Bristol Bay red king crab harvest will not happen. The winter harvest of smaller snow crab has also been canceled for the first time. The causes of the population collapse are being researched but likely include increased predation and stresses from warmer water, which the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes may have prompted the crabs to shift away from coasts.”

Baker Honors Official Mass. State Dinosaur, the Podokesaurus Holyokensis (Dana)

From “A ‘tough, spunky underdog’ from Holyoke, as Gov. Charlie Baker phrased it Wednesday morning surrounded by massive dinosaur replicas at the Museum of Science, is the official state dinosaur of Massachusetts. Baker, during a ceremonial bill signing to honor the Podokesaurus holyokensis, spoke fondly of his own dinosaur-related childhood memories as he celebrated the legislation — which sparked interest and participation from thousands of young students from across the state — with lawmakers, paleontologists and museum-goers.”


Comments are closed.