Month: February 2021

Wow! Check out NASA’s high-res video of Perseverance parachute/rocket landing on Mars.

Perseverance's landing sequence was anything but easy. The landing involved several steps, each of which had to be executed perfectly for a safe landing - and the geeks at NASA nailed it! Here is a video breakdown of the landing. Here are the steps it took to land Perseverance on Mars. Cruise stage separation (10 min).Enter the Mars atmosphere (0 min.)Perseverance reaches its maximum heating during entry (80 sec.)Parachute deploys (240 sec.)Heat shield separates (260 sec.)Radar locks in the landing zone (290 sec.)Backshell separates (360 sec.)Rockets fire during descentPerseverance rover separates and begins lowering to the ground via the Sky Crane.Perseverance touches the ground.The Sky Crane flies away.

How many black holes does it take to fill a galaxy? Apparently a lot more than we thought.

See the "stars" in the picture above. Well, those aren't stars. They're supermassive black holes. Black holes don't generate much radiation and thus, are difficult for astronomers to spot. However, as they devour everything around it, materials spiral into the black hole like water spinning around a drain. This action generates radio waves which scientist can use to detect the presence of a black hole. The detailed map of black holes was created by astronomers using the low radio frequency signatures detected by the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) in Europe. The LOFAR array consists of about 20,000 radio antennas distributed across 52 different locations in Europe. Scientists wrote a special program that uses the LOFAR radio telescope data to map out the black holes we see in the

What are all those tiny little elf-doors scattered throughout the U.S. Capitol?

When you visit the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. try not to get too caught up in the splendor and instead, look down. Chances are you'll see a tiny little elf-door somewhere along the wall. In fact, they are scattered throughout the U.S. Capitol building but most visitors never notice them. The tiny doors serve as more than just a conversation piece or humorous Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab article. At one time, they served an important function. But we have to look way back in time to understand how those tiny little doors kept the Capitol building safe. The Christmas Eve Capitol fire On Christmas Eve in 1851, a guard (John Jones) was making his rounds through the Capitol building when he noticed a flicker of light

4-year-old girl walking on beach discovers UK’s most perfectly preserved dinosaur footprint.

"Daddy, what's this?" 4-year-old Lily Wilder from Barry, South Wales, UK took her first step as a scientist this week when she spotted a perfectly preserved dinosaur footprint while walking on the beach. The print measures about 10cm. Scientists believe it was made by a dinosaur about 75cm tall and is about 220 millions years old. The dinosaur species is unknown. Cindy Howells, the Paleontology Curator at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum said: "This fossilized dinosaur footprint from 220 million years ago is one of the best-preserved examples from anywhere in the UK and will really aid paleontologists to get a better idea about how these early dinosaurs walked. Its acquisition by the museum is mainly thanks to Lily and her family who first spotted it."

Meet the newly-discovered “nano-chameleon”, the world’s smallest lizard is no bigger than a fly.

A new species of chameleon has been discovered on the island of Madagascar. Known as Brookesia nana, or nano-chemeleon, the tiny male lizard measures only 9mm or 19mm if you include the tail. For comparison, a normal housefly measures about 7mm. The female of the species is larger at 29mm (including the tail). Researchers confirmed the specimens were not juveniles - the female had two eggs inside of her. It is believed the species may be so small due to the "island effect". Animals trapped on small isolated islands tend to evolve smaller bodies.