NASA made history on April 19, 2021, by conducting the first controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet. In what is being described as a "Wright brothers moment," the tissue-box-sized Ingenuity gradually ascended to an altitude of 9.8 feet (3 meters) above the surface of Mars and hovered for 30 seconds before gracefully descending to land on its four legs.
Every April 22, over a billion people around the world celebrate Earth Day by participating in neighborhood clean-up activities and environmental teach-ins. The planet's largest civic event began in 1970 when twenty million Americans poured out onto the streets to urge lawmakers to take action to protect the environment before it was too late. Now boasting over 50,000 partners in 195 countries, the Earth Day Network (EDN) has led to the establishment of numerous environmental policies, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
On Saturday, April 17, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II bade her final farewell to Prince Philip— her husband of over 70 years. The solemn 50-minute service was limited to just 30 senior royals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest inside the Royal Vault at St. George’s Chapel alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including three kings of England.
Fifteen US states, including New York, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, as well as Washington D.C., will soon be buzzing with billions, and perhaps even trillions, of cicadas. The noisy, red-eyed members of Brood X, which have been hibernating underground for the past 17 years, will emerge unannounced as soon as the conditions are right: the soil is 64 degrees, and on a night that's humid enough but free of wind and rain.
For the more than a billion Muslims worldwide, there is nothing more sacred than the month of Ramadan, or Ramazan. It was during this ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar that Jibril (the Archangel Gabriel in the Judeo-Christian faith) revealed the first verses of the Quran — Islam's holy text — to the prophet Muhammad. The auspicious month's start, based on the appearance of the super-slim young crescent Moon, is determined by moon-sighting committees in various Muslim countries, most notably in Saudi Arabia. This year, Ramadan will begin on Monday, April 12th, or Tuesday, April 13th.
While bioluminescence — the ability to glow in the dark — is a fairly common occurrence in fish and squid that live in the ocean's darkest depths, its presence in sharks is not as well-documented or understood. Now, the discovery of the largest-known luminous vertebrate — the six-foot-long kitefin shark — and two other glowing shark species has enabled researchers to gain valuable insights into the luminescent abilities of the deep-sea creatures.
When Christie's set out to auction its first-ever digital-only artwork — "Everydays: The First 5000 Days"— on March 1, 2021, they had fully expected it to fetch more than the minimum bid of $100. However, the 255-year-old British auction house had never in its wildest dreams envisioned that the unique masterpiece, minted by Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, would fetch a record $60.25 million ($69.3 million with fees).
Easter, which will be observed on April 4, 2021, is the oldest and most important Christian festival. Many adults commemorate the holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion, with prayers and fasting for 40 days before the event. For children in the US, Easter is largely about fun activities like seeking out candy-filled eggs, meeting the Easter bunny, and participating in spring parades. However, not everyone celebrates this all-important holiday with these traditions.