How It Works

How It Works

No. 142

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.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

“It can’t be denied that they have the power to ruin lives”Hurricane power, page 20 From the comfort of our homes, behind a television set, most of us are awestruck and thrilled to watch the power of a hurricane as it unfurls. For some people though, it’s their job to fly high above the swirling storm clouds and actually drop into the eye of the storm to monitor the activity inside. In this issue of How It Works magazine, see how a few scattered rain clouds on one side of the world can turn into a raging maelstrom on the other, tearing up trees and flooding cities. Learn how pilots and planes are equipped to monitor these wild forces of nature and discover the biggest, most powerful hurricanes of all time.…

1 min.
meet the team…

Nikole Production Editor Broken satellites and other space junk are cluttering up the atmosphere. Find out what weird things are up there on page 64. Scott Staff Writer The next generation of gaming consoles are coming this year. Get a glimpse inside the PS5 and Xbox Series X on page 36. Baljeet Research Editor From bottles and bowls to stained-glass windows, learn how glass is made and shaped for a range of uses on page 50. Duncan Senior Art Editor On page 44, see how mummification was performed and where mummies have been discovered across the world. Ailsa Staff Writer After millions of years of isolation, Australia has produced unique animals. Discover these marsupials on page 28.…

1 min.
marine hide and seek

This isn’t the first place you would look for a fish, but this jack has found an unusual hiding place in the body of a jellyfish. It might appear as though the jellyfish (Thysanostoma thysanura) is devouring the unsuspecting fish, but the fish is actually exploiting the jellyfish for protection against predators. This game of aquatic hide and seek is not uncommon between these two species, with members across the carangid family seeking refuge in the domes of many different jellyfish species. Small yellowtail kingfish also gather in groups under the bell of the tentacle-less Versuriga anadyomene jellyfish for protection.…

1 min.
inside a dead star

Around 6,500 light years away in the constellation of Taurus are the cosmic remains of an exploded star known as the Crab Nebula. Back in 2018 NASA created this image from a data collaboration between the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (blue and white), the Hubble Space Telescope (purple) and the Spitzer Space Telescope (pink). It shows that at the heart of the nebula lies a highly magnetised, spinning neutron star known as a pulsar, emitting powerful electromagnetic radiation from its magnetic poles. The Crab Pulsar is just 19 kilometres wide, spins 30 times a second and can produce 10 quadrillion electron volts. © X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NASA-JPL-Caltech…

3 min.
mysterious ‘fast radio burst’ detected close to earth

30,000 years ago a dead star on the other side of the Milky Way belched out a powerful mixture of radio and X-ray energy. On 28 April 2020 that belch swept over Earth, triggering alarms at observatories around the world. The signal was there and gone in half a second, but that’s all scientists needed to confirm they had detected something remarkable: the first-ever ‘fast radio burst’ (FRB) to emanate from a known star within the Milky Way. Since their discovery in 2007, FRBs have puzzled scientists. The bursts of powerful radio waves last only a few milliseconds at most, but generate more energy in that time than our Sun does in a century. Scientists have yet to pin down what causes these blasts, but they’ve proposed everything from colliding black…

2 min.
‘pentadiamonds’ could reshape material engineering

What’s harder than a diamond, a third lighter and could zip with electricity? A pentadiamond. A crystalline arrangement of carbon atoms that is made up mostly of pentagons. These don’t exist yet – they’ve only been created in computer simulations – but if one can be made, it could have a number of useful properties. Carbon is one of the most versatile elements on the periodic table. Since each carbon atom can bond with up to four others, it is able to form intricate assemblies with different properties, such as ultra-hard diamond, semiconducting graphene and rope-like nanotubes. Novel arrangements, or allotropes of carbon are being discovered all the time. As many as 1,000 different types are currently known. The search for additional allotropes is like “playing [with] LEGO blocks to create materials…