The Chinese, or Lunar, New Year, which falls on February 1 this year, is celebrated by over 2 billion people — about 20 percent of the world's population. Also known as the Spring New Year, the ancient festival lasts for two weeks and is observed with numerous fun customs and traditions. It is China's biggest holiday. With most businesses closed for at least seven days, hundreds of thousands of city workers head home to enjoy the festivities with their families.
The annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest encourages scientists and artists to showcase their ingenuity by creating clever optical illusions. Now celebrating its seventeenth year, the fun contest is the brainchild of the Neural Correlate Society, a nonprofit that promotes scientific research on how the brain functions. Here are 2021's top three winners, selected by fans from the ten finalists in an online vote on December 15, 2021.
Black History Month, celebrated every February, commemorates the many, often overlooked, contributions African Americans have made to society. American historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson came up with the idea in 1926 as a way to share his love for Black history with students. Today, African American History Month, as it is also called, is one of the most celebrated cultural heritage months on the American calendar.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai — an underwater volcano located 40 miles (65km) north of Nuku'alofa, the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga — has erupted a couple of times over the past few decades. However, its January 15, 2022, explosion was like none other seen on Earth in over 30 years. The spectacular 13-mile-wide eruption, with a sonic boom heard 6,000 miles away in Alaska, spewed large plumes of ash and gases as high as 19 miles. The massive waves that followed triggered tsunami warnings in Peru, New Zealand, Japan, and the US West Coast.
While birthdays are always a cause for celebration, Kane Tanaka's was especially so. On January 1, 2022, the Japanese supercentenarian turned 119, extending her record as the world's oldest living person for another year. Tanaka has held the Guinness World Title since turning 116 in 2019. She also garnered the all-time Japanese age record in September 2020 when she clocked an impressive 117 years and 261 days!
Researchers have long suspected that Mars was once home to several rivers, lakes, and perhaps even oceans. But while they have been able to detect ice, and some salty lakes, in the planet's polar regions, finding water in other areas has proved elusive. Now, scientists have finally found evidence of a large water reservoir just a few feet below the surface of the Red Planet's Valles Marineris canyon system.
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will officially start with a grand opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, on February 4, 2022. The two-week-long sporting extravaganza, which ends on February 20, 2022, will feature a record 109 competitions over 15 disciplines in seven sports. Among them will be seven new exciting events. Here is a brief preview of each.
The James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) — the world's largest and most complex science telescope — was successfully launched into space atop a European Ariane 5 rocket on December 25, 2021. The $10 billion revolutionary space observatory — a joint effort between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency — is designed to detect the faint infrared light from the earliest stars and galaxies formed over 13.5 billion years ago.