Listen to the latest from the world of science with Shamini Bundell and Nick Petrić Howe.

In this episode:

00:45 Accurately ageing stars reveals the Milky Way’s history

To understand when, and how, the Milky Way formed, researchers need to know when its stars were born. This week, a team of astronomers have precisely aged nearly a quarter of a million stars, revealing more about the sequence of events that took place as our galaxy formed.

Research article: Xiang and Rix

News and Views: A stellar clock reveals the assembly history of the Milky Way

09:53 Research Highlights

Archaeologists reveal an ancient lake was actually a ritual pool, and how the Moon’s phase affects some birds’ altitude.

Research Highlight: Ancient ‘harbour’ revealed to be part of fertility god’s lavish shrine

Research Highlight: These birds fly high when the full Moon hangs in the sky

12:34 Uncovering Yellowstone’s hot water plumbing

Yellowstone National Park’s iconic geothermal geysers and volcanic landmarks are well studied, but very little was known about the ‘plumbing system’ that feeds these features. Now a team of researchers have mapped the underground hydrothermal system, showing the specific faults and pathways that supply the park.

Research article: Finn et al.

19:27 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, why an Australian university has been suspended from winning a research foundation’s fellowships, and the ongoing debate about the cause of ‘COVID toes’.

Nature: Funder bars university from grant programme over white-male award line-up

Nature: Are ‘COVID toes’ actually caused by the coronavirus?

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