For most Americans, Christmas celebrations entail decorating homes with lights and wreaths, putting up Christmas trees, finding meaningful gifts for loved ones, and, of course, binge-watching holiday classics like Elf and Home Alone. However, not everyone observes the holiday in the same way. Here are some unique and wonderful Christmas traditions from around the world.
Over the years, researchers have found ample evidence proving that the horned Triceratops and the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. rex), which roamed western North America in the late Cretaceous period — some 69 million years ago — were mortal enemies. However, finding perfectly-preserved fossils of the prey and predator locked in combat was something they only dreamed of until the 2006 discovery of the "Dueling Dinosaurs" at a private Montana farm by commercial fossil hunters Clayton Phipps and his team.
The dark mornings and low temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere may lead one to think that winter is well on its way. However, the astronomical start of the chilly season will not be until December 21, 2020. Called the winter solstice, it is the point in time when the Northern Hemisphere is farthest away from the sun, resulting in less sunlight to the region this year. 2020's longest night will coincide with two exciting celestial events — the peak of the Ursids meteor shower and a "great conjunction" of the solar system's two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn.
Most teenagers are still trying to find their passion and purpose in life. However, not Gitanjali Rao. The 15-year-old sophomore at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, Colorado, has been coming up with innovative solutions to worldwide problems since she was ten. It is, therefore, not surprising that the youngster was selected from 5,000 equally impressive nominees — ages 8 to 16 — for TIME Magazine’s first-ever "Kid of the Year."
Total solar eclipses, during which the Sun briefly "disappears" in the daytime, occur about every 18 months. However, unlike lunar eclipses, which can be seen worldwide, the celestial phenomenon can only be observed within a narrow, approximately 100-mile-wide, path of totality. Moreover, total solar eclipses occur at a specific location, on average, about every 360 years. This means that the chance to observe one in real-time is truly rare and special.
China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft, tasked with bringing lunar rock samples to Earth, successfully landed on the Moon on December 1st, 2020. The 18,100-pound (8,200 kg) spacecraft, launched from China’s Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on November 23, 2020, entered the satellite's orbit on November 28th, 2020. Soon after, it deployed its lander and ascender modules to the Mons Rümker, an isolated volcanic formation on the Moon's near side.
Mention goldfish, and the image that comes to mind is that of small, colorful creatures swimming in circles in fish bowls or home aquariums. However, the one recently discovered by biologists conducting a fish survey at a South Carolina lake was no ordinary goldfish - it was a 9-pound, 15-inch-long behemoth!
On December 1, 2020, the United Kingdom (U.K.) became the first western country to give emergency approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) officials announced they would begin distributing 800,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to 50 British hospitals as early as next week. The initial vaccines will be administered to some of the nation's most vulnerable citizens — nursing home residents, health workers, and the elderly.