Since landing on Mars on February 18, 2021, NASA's Perseverance rover has achieved numerous "firsts," including beaming audio sounds from the Red Planet's surface. It also made history as the first spacecraft to record sounds from another spacecraft — the Ingenuity helicopter — on another planet.
Geologists have long maintained that our Earth comprises four layers — the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and, the deepest layer, the inner core. However, a team of scientists led by Jo Stephenson, a doctoral student in seismology at Australian National University in Canberra, now asserts that our planet may be harboring a mysterious, fifth layer — an "inner-inner" core as well.
Researchers worldwide are celebrating the discovery of the fossil of an adult oviraptorosaur brooding over a nest of eggs containing unhatched babies. The unprecedented discovery confirms scientists' suspicions that the two-legged bird-like dinosaurs were doting parents, which not only incubated their eggs, but also guarded them —at times putting their own lives at risk.
On April 22, 2021, for the second consecutive year, the US House of Representatives voted 216-208 to make Washington, DC, the nation's 51st state. Though the symbolically titled H.R. 51 bill is identical to the one passed on June 26, 2020, the legislation was never put to the vote in the then Republican-controlled Senate. However, this time around, the bill — which has the support of both President Joe Biden and Democratic Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer — will get a hearing in the upper house of Congress.
British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has made it his mission to use his talent to conserve our ecosystems by creating underwater museums. Over the years, the environmentalist has submerged over 850 massive artworks in numerous site-specific "sculpture parks" worldwide. On February 1, 2021, Taylor unveiled his latest endeavor — The Underwater Museum of Cannes.
When famed archeologist and former minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, and his team set out to excavate an area near the Egyptian city of Luxor in September 2020, all they were hoping to find was King Tutankhamun's mortuary temple. Instead, the archeologists stumbled upon the largest ancient city ever found in Egypt. Hawass, who revealed the discovery on April 8, 2021, believes the enormous, well-preserved metropolis is the “So’oud Atun,” or the "Rise of Aten," whose location has eluded scientists for decades.
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.
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.