It flew! Mars helicopter takes to the air

The Mars helicopter – named Ingenuity – successfully flew in the thin air of Mars early in the day on Monday, April 19. A press conference is scheduled for later today. Images and links here.

For the 2nd time, Northrop Grumman catches a satellite in Earth orbit

Northrop Grumman said last week that its Mission Extension Vehicle 2 – a robot spacecraft designed to help prolong the life of satellites in space – successfully docked to a commercial communications satellite. “We are now the only provider of life extension services for satellites,” a company spokesperson said.

Listen to a spiderweb

Spiders are master builders, expertly weaving strands of silk into intricate 3D webs. Now, scientists report they have translated the complex structure of a web into music. Listen here.

A case against killing spiders

An entomologist explains why it’s a good idea to be nice to the spiders you encounter and consider a live-and-let-live policy.

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Before-and-after of asteroid Bennu’s sample site

During its final flyby this month, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx took an image of the location where it collected a sample from asteroid Bennu’s surface. It’ll return to Earth 2 years from now, providing scientists with clues to the creation of our solar system.

Is Jupiter a key to finding dark matter?

Jupiter’s large size and cool core make it an excellent target in the search for dark matter. A team of scientists is analyzing gamma-ray data from the Fermi Telescope looking for signs of the elusive substance.

Earliest known honey jars in Africa are 3,500 years old

An ancient people with a sweet tooth – the Nok culture of sub-Saharan Africa – used terracotta pots to hold honey 3,500 years ago. They may be the earliest confirmed honey collectors in Africa.

How to take photos of star trails

Photographers take star trail photos by pointing their cameras at the sky and leaving the shutter open for long exposures, resulting in an image that shows streaks of light from the movement of Earth’s rotation.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi sets a new space record

Congratulations to Japan’s astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who this month was awarded the Guinness World Record for the longest time between spacewalks: 15 years and 214 days.

Yellowballs offer insights into star formation

The unexpected discovery of yellowballs by citizen scientists – in 2011 and 2012 – is shaking up astronomers’ ideas about how stars and star clusters form. It’s giving scientists a new window into the birth and evolution of young stars.

Martian hill named to honor Curiosity scientist

NASA has given the name Rafael Navarro Mountain to a hill in Gale Crater on Mars, where the Curiosity rover has been exploring since 2012. Navarro, a mission scientist, died in January 2021 from Covid-19.

Sea level rise creating ghost forests in U.S. East

Sea level rise is killing trees along the U.S. east coast, creating ‘ghost forests’ that are visible from space.

Milky Way season has started!

Spring brings flowers to the landscape and photos of the Milky Way to EarthSky! Enjoy these photos of our galaxy taken in 2021, and keep your eye on this space for more to come!