First Image Of Black Hole At The Center Of Our Galaxy Revealed
On May 12, 2022, an international team of astronomers led by scientists at the Harvard—Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics revealed the first image of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Researchers have known about the black hole, called Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* (pronounced sadge-ay-star), since the 1970s. However, until now, its existence had only been deduced from its effect on surrounding stars and dust. The stunning picture is the first direct visual evidence of our galaxy's black hole.Read news articleThis Month's Total Lunar Eclipse Promises To Be Spectacular!
The partial solar eclipse on April 30, 2022, was only seen by a lucky few. However, the total lunar eclipse on the night of May 15, 2022, will be visible to about 2.7 billion people on Earth's night side. This includes the residents of North America, Africa, South America, and Central and Western Europe.Read news articleMeet The New Millipede Species Named After Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has received numerous music awards and even an Emmy. Now, the popular American singer-songwriter can add an unusual achievement to her growing list of accolades — a new millipede species named after her. The Nannaria swiftae (N. swiftae) is one of 17 new twisted-claw millipede species recently identified by Dr. Derek Hennen and his team at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.Read news articleNASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins Begins Her Historic ISS Mission
All space missions are significant. However, SpaceX's Crew-4 mission, which docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on April 28, 2022, was particularly historic. The approximately 16-hour flight was SpaceX's fastest Dragon astronaut trip to the space lab yet. More importantly, the crew of four included Jessica Watkins — the first African American woman assigned to the ISS on a long-term mission.Read news articleCan Ants Help Detect Cancer in Humans?
Ants are truly fascinating creatures. The industrious insects can lift up to 50 times their own body weight, morph into rafts to protect themselves from floods, predict earthquakes, and even repair their damaged homes. Now, researchers have found that the amazing insects may even be able to help detect cancer in humans.Read news articleThis Year's First Solar Eclipse Is On April 30
Stargazers will enjoy two spectacular celestial events on April 30, 2022 — the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus and this year's first solar eclipse. The former will be visible worldwide. But the opportunity to observe the moon "bite" a chunk of the Sun in person, will only be available to a lucky few in parts of South America, Antarctica, and some Southern Ocean areas. The rest of us will have to watch the natural phenomenon online.Read news articleFour Planets And The Moon Will Line Up In The Sky This Month
Stargazers, get ready! Starting April 23, 2022, Saturn, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter will form a straight line behind the crescent Moon. The perfect alignment will provide earthlings a relatively rare opportunity to see multiple planets in the sky with the naked eye. Experts say the celestial treat can be best observed by gazing southeast — in the direction of the sunrise — about an hour before the Sun comes out.Read news articleGuess What? Fish Can Do Basic Math!
Your silent, expressionless pet goldfish may appear oblivious to you and its surroundings. But the aquatic vertebrates are smarter than they seem. Previous studies have shown that fish are quick learners, can retain information for up to five months, and even recognize their owner from a group of humans.Read news articleTwo New Species Of Glass Frogs Discovered In Ecuador
The Southern Tropical Andes, which comprises areas of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, is one of the world's most biodiverse regions — especially when it comes to amphibians. The area is home to about 980 amphibian species, including over half of the 150-known glass frog species. Now, two new members of the tiny frogs have joined this ever-growing list.Read news articleSaharan Dust Storm Casts Eerie Orange Glow Over Parts Of Europe
A massive plume of dust and sand from the Sahara Desert engulfed parts of Europe in mid-March. Storm Celia blew into Spain on March 14, 2022, turning the skies into an eerie rusty orange and covering the ground and vehicles with fine sand particles. The thick dust layer lingered for several days, causing officials to issue extremely poor air quality ratings in the capital city of Madrid and across large parts of Spain's southeast coast.Read news articleRogue Rocket Carves A New Crater On The Moon
A school-bus-sized object, which has been orbiting in space at about 5,600 miles per hour since 2014, crashed-landed on the Moon on March 4, 2022. The 40-foot-long, 3,000-kilogram piece of space debris is believed to have carved a massive — 60 to 100-feet-wide — hole near the Hertzsprung Crater on the Moon's far side. However, since the exact impact location is unknown, it may take NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter a few months to identify and image the new crater.Read news articleRainbows Smile Too!
Mention rainbows, and the image that comes to mind is that of a beautiful translucent arc of bright colors bending towards the horizon. But in a recent image captured by Italian astrophotographer Marcella Giulia Pace and shared by NASA on March 11, 2022, the rainbow is turned around — making it appear like it is smiling! Magical as it sounds, the reason for the stunning phenomenon, called a circumzenithal arc, is rooted in science.Read news articleMIT Engineers Create A Lightweight Material That Is Stronger Than Steel
A new material created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers is being hailed as revolutionary. 2DPA-1 is as light as plastic and two times stronger than steel. Unlike currently available polymers, it can conduct electricity and block gas. The scientists believe 2DPA-1 can help lower our carbon footprint and perhaps even reduce the rampant use of disposable plastics.Read news articleHow Pi Day Became America's Biggest Math Holiday
A holiday associated with a math constant may not seem very exciting. But Pi ("π") Day, observed annually in the US on March 14 (3/14), is an exception. That's because the celebrations may start with math activities centered around pi — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, widely recognized as 3.14. But they inevitably end with a slice or two of delicious pie!Read news articleMini Boat Launched By New Hampshire Students Turns Up 8,000 Miles Away In Norway
When a group of Rye Junior High School students in New Hampshire set sail a roughly five-foot-long boat into the Atlantic in October 2020, they were not sure what to expect. While some were optimistic it would wash ashore in Europe, many believed the tiny vessel, called Rye Riptides, would get destroyed along the way. On February 1, 2022, the skeptics were proved wrong when the partially dismantled boat washed ashore 8,300 miles away on a small island near Dyrnes, Norway.Read news articleColorful LEGO Bricks Have Been Washing Ashore English Beaches For 25 Years
February 13, 2022, marked the 25th anniversary of the Great LEGO Spill — the worst toy-related environmental disaster of all time. On this fateful day in 1997, the Tokio Express was battered by a massive, 28-foot rogue wave off the United Kingdom's southwestern coast. The force tilted the cargo ship — en route from Rotterdam to New York — by 60 degrees, causing it to drop 62 containers into the sea. One was filled with about 5 million colorful LEGO bricks!Read news articleWorld's Largest Colony Of Nesting Fish Found Beneath Antarctic Ice
The Weddell Sea, an extension of the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica, is known for its abundant wildlife. The 1,242-mile (2,000-km) bay's nutrient-rich waters are home to large populations of seals, penguins, and baleen whales. Now, researchers have uncovered a trove of 60 million icefish nests sprawled across 93 square miles (240 square kilometers) of the seafloor. The nurseries — each guarded by a ghoulish-looking adult — constitute the fish's largest-known breeding colony.Read news articleRare Juvenile "Ghost Shark" Found Off New Zealand Coast
Chimaeras, or ghost sharks, have been around for millions of years. However, the elusive fish, which live at depths of up to 6,000 feet, are largely unknown to science. The lack of crucial information — like how long they live or how often they reproduce — makes it challenging to monitor and protect the 52 known ghost shark species. Now, a rare newborn chimaera, discovered off the coast of New Zealand, may help scientists better understand the mysterious deep-water creatures.Read news article