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How It Works

How It Works

No. 146

Welcome to How It Works, the magazine that explains everything you never knew you wanted to know about the world we live in. Loaded with fully illustrated guides and expert knowledge, and with sections dedicated to science, technology, transportation, space, history and the environment, no subject is too big or small for How It Works to explain.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
$5.68(Incl. tax)
$52.64(Incl. tax)
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

“As part of the opening ceremony of the 2021 Olympics, satellites will launch a human-made meteor shower”2021’s hottest sci and tech to watch out for, page 20 It’s hard to believe the advances in science and technology we’ve made in the last ten years alone, but 2021 will see the culmination of years of hard work and innovation pay off. The opening ceremony of the delayed Summer Olympics will feature a synthetic meteor shower, 5G and VR will come together to offer a myriad of possibilities in augmented and virtual experiences, the James Webb Space Telescope will allow us to peer deeper into the universe than ever before and much more. Nature has its own events planned too, including two solar eclipses and a brood of cicadas millions-strong that emerges only…

1 min.
meet the team…

Nikole Production Editor Humans have dug deep into the ground, but we haven’t reached the mantle of our planet yet. Dive into the depths on page 28. Scott Staff Writer From Saturn’s two-faced satellite to Jupiter’s volcanic companion, meet the weirdest moons in our Solar System on page 80. Baljeet Research Editor Well-equipped for potential disasters at airports all over the world, get inside the biggest, fastest fire-fighting vehicle on page 58. Duncan Senior Art Editor The body is capable of repairing itself after an accident or injury, even patching up broken bones. Learn how it heals itself on page 62. Ailsa Staff Writer The transatlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration in history. Find out how these horrific ordeals ended on page 40.…

1 min.
inside the pollen store

This is a thale cress plant’s reproductive organ, called an anther. Within the anther are chambers called microsporangia that manufacture and store grains of pollen, seen in this image as green spheres. Pollen is released from the anther when a pollinator, such as an insect or bird, brushes up against the organ, which in turn opens small pores for the pollen to escape. Upon release the pollen, which contains the plant’s male ‘sperm’ cells, falls from the anther to the female reproductive organs, including the plant’s ovary, for successful reproduction and the development of seeds. This image was captured using confocal microscopy, using laser-focused fluorescent light to reveal magnified images.…

1 min.
on top of the world

Imagine glancing down and seeing the whole world at your feet. It’s a sight not many have seen, but one astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Díaz is all too familiar with. In this image, taken in 2002, Chang-Díaz is performing a spacewalk – as part of the STS-111 mission – outside the International Space Station. The mission began with the installation of a power and data grapple fixture for the station’s robotic arm. The fixture was installed halfway up the station’s space frame, called the P6 truss, which supports the large solar array for power production. Chang-Díaz completed seven Space Shuttle missions between 1986 and 2002 and shares the record for the most spaceflights with Jerry Ross.…

3 min.
newfound collision may be the biggest in milky way history

The Milky Way contains more than 100 billion stars, but it didn’t come by them all honestly. At least a dozen times over the last 12 billion years, the Milky Way collided with a neighbouring galaxy and devoured it, swallowing up that neighbour's stars and mixing them into an ever-growing stew of pilfered suns. With each new galactic merger, the shape, size and motion of our galaxy changed forever, ultimately becoming the iconic spiral we recognise today. A recent study has attempted to unwind that spiral. Using artificial intelligence (AI) to match distinct clusters of stars by their ages, motions and chemical compositions, the team found evidence of five large-scale galactic mergers, each involving 100 million stars or more, dating back more than 10 billion years, including one ancient collision that…

2 min.
primeval greenland lake found under mile of ice

Scientists have discovered an ancient lake bed buried under more than a mile of ice that may hold secrets to Greenland’s past climate. The lake formed when northwest Greenland was ice-free, sometime between hundreds of thousands or even millions of years ago. Given Greenland’s rapid melt today, the lake could reveal something about the Arctic’s future as the ice caps shrink. “The lake basin sits 1.1 miles below the surface of the ice” “This could be an important repository of information in a landscape that right now is totally concealed and inaccessible,” said Guy Paxman, a researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “We’re working to try and understand how the Greenland ice sheet has behaved in the past. It’s important if we want to understand how it will behave in future…