Disposable camera in hand, I marveled that a dinosaur fossil could tower over me in one room while an Apollo capsule seemed to float in the next. The things I learned created constellations of fascination.
My mom would take me on a regular basis so we could see the latest film exploring the ocean depths
or check on “Steggy” the stegosaurus. (Somewhere, there is a photo of me with my arms thrown around his neck.)
They say the things we love as children stay with us; I was reminded of that this week when NASA announced the name of its moon-bound mannequin, voted on by space fans. The name has a special legacy behind it
that took me right back to the first time I peered up at the Apollo exhibit.
Thank you for joining us on our weekly expeditions through the wonders of this world and what exists beyond it. We’re thrilled you’re along for the ride.
Photographers from 75 countries submitted more than 4,500 images to the 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
The images reveal natural wonders captured during a time when many were forced inside by the pandemic. Luckily for us, these photographers ventured out and set their eyes on the skies.
The winners will be announced in September, so check back to see how your favorites fare.
Fossils and fireballs
Dinosaurs were doomed to disappear from the Earth when a city-size asteroid slammed into our planet
66 million years ago. But new research suggests these creatures weren’t exactly thriving before that fateful strike.
Scientists studied 1,600 dinosaur fossils, representing 247 species, to track their evolution.
The research, which contradicts other recent studies, suggests two different factors that contributed to dinosaur decline before their ultimate end.
Across the universe
Imagine Pac-Man, but on an astronomical scale. Researchers detected ripples in space-time, called gravitational waves, from a rare celestial event: a black hole gobbling up a neutron star. And it happened twice, with separate instances being detected in January 2020.
These celestial death dances, where neither neutron star made it out alive, happened a long time ago in galaxies far, far away
Scientists also discovered a new type of supernova this week. Initially predicted to exist 40 years ago, the explosion of a star that fit the theory was witnessed by astronomers — and it also explains a famous supernova so bright it could be seen during daylight
when it occurred in 1054.
The findings from both discoveries could help scientists unlock secrets of the universe.
Record-breaking temperatures spiking well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) have sent the typically cool Pacific Northwest into an early summer swelter. Many have scrambled to find creative ways of cooling down
because so many homes across Washington and Oregon don’t have air conditioning; they have never needed it.
But what’s to blame for this unprecedented heat wave?
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