June 23, 2024

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

On the news this week: dinosaur footprints; school children protest climate change; and Opportunity rover finally

First up, dinosaur footprints preserved in the mud of an outback ranch have been saved from floods which have ravaged Western Queensland. Coordinated by palaeontologists from Melbourne, the rescue mission has been praised by the mayor of the town of Winton, whose tourist industry is heavily reliant on the tracks. Extending over an area the size of two basketball courts, the footprints of three dinosaurs have been taken out of the ground, and will be kept safe until the floods subside.


Next up, last Friday thousands of children across the UK took time out of their education to protest the government’s lack of action on climate change. These pupils, many of whom are too young to vote, were joined by supportive adults as they demanded protection for their future. With potentially just twelve years left for the global population to change the fate of the world, by putting measures in place to stop the devastating impact of climate change, children in Europe are marching every week, adding their voices to the global call to keep warming below two degrees Celsius.


And finally, in a story that has touched many hearts around the world, a 15-year space mission to Mars has finally come to an end. Last week, NASA announced that it had given up attempts to re-establish contact with the red planet’s rover called ‘Opportunity’ after it fell silent following a dust storm. Its last words – ‘My battery is low and it’s getting dark’ – were shared all around the world, although that is more of a poetic interpretation of the rover’s last transmission in 2018. It’s fair to say that the rover had a great life and far exceeded its life expectancy – after all, it was only meant to last 90 days on the red planet!


This week’s news was written and presented by Madeleine Openshaw, Julia Langer, and Gina Degtyareva, who are studying for a MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London.


Banner Image: Opportunity Rover, NASA