Science news this week: Horned comet and a mystery blob


This week in science news we discovered a city-size comet that regrew “horns” after a volcanic eruption, gawked at gorgeous mummy portraits from 2,000 years ago and solved a mystery about why some people have more Neanderthal DNA than others.

The solar system is a violent place, as evidenced by the fiery history of 12P/Pons–Brooks, a monster-size comet hurtling toward the sun. For the second time in four months it has grown “horns” after a volcanic eruption. The flying space rock previously grew its protrusions after a magma fountain spewed from its surface in July. But destructive space rocks can’t be blamed for the biggest Marsquake ever recorded — instead, scientists finally figured out that the record-breaking shaking was caused by tectonic plates shifting beneath the Red Planet’s surface.

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