History | SHIPWRECKED | March 17, 2022

Nearly 10,000 feet beneath the Weddell Sea in Antarctica, the long lost historic remains of the ship Endurance have been found.

1915 photo shows Endurance stuck in Antarctic ice. Nearly 107 years later, the ship has been found.

In 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton led the ship’s expedition. Endurance set sail from England and got stuck in Antarctic ice for 10 months. It was eventually crushed by the ice, and sank on November 21, 1915. The whole crew survived.

“This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen,” Mensun Bound says. He’s a director of the Endurance22 expedition, which announced the discovery on March 9. Bound says the ship is still upright in the seabed and “in a brilliant state of preservation.”

Researchers used underwater drones to search the sea where Endurance sank. It took more than two weeks. The ship is a historic monument, so there are no plans to raise it.

World | VIVID EXPLOSION | February 19, 2022

Mount Etna, Italy’s highest and most active volcano, has erupted again! On February 10, 2022, the 3,330-meter-high volcano rained down lava, with its last major eruption recorded in 1992.

 Plumes of smoke rising from the volcano, glowing bright orange in the night sky.

The eruption was so big, it created a volcanic storm complete with bolts of lightning, a rare event that can occur when an eruption is particularly powerful or if the volcano is located near the sea. This latest eruption sent ash shooting more than 6 miles into the air above sea level.

Science | GOLDEN EYE | January 8, 2022

NASA’s new space telescope unfolded its flower-shaped mirror on January 7th and 8th. The James Webb Space Telescope will do its work 1 million miles from Earth. Its mission: to find evidence of how galaxies formed billions of years ago.

The James Webb Telescope

“How does it feel to make history?” Thomas Zurbuchen, who works on NASA’s science missions, said to his team in Maryland.

Webb is the most powerful telescope ever launched. It took off from South America on December 25. The entire thing was folded to fit into a rocket.

Webb’s mirror gathers light. This allows the telescope to pick up faraway galaxies. The mirror is 21 feet across. It is made up of 18 segments. NASA adjusts them to bring the telescope into focus.

“This is the moment we have been waiting for,” Antonella Nota says. She’s a director at the European Space Agency. It worked with NASA on the telescope. Nota says NASA made Webb’s unfolding in space look “so amazingly easy.”

Arts & Entertainment | A NEW TWIST IN SCIENTIST | October 31, 2021

New Netflix series: Ada Twist, Scientist

Kerri Grant is the showrunner on Ada Twist, Scientist. That means she is in charge of all parts of the show. Grant says the show helps viewers see the science all around us. “The entire world is explorable,” she said. “From building a fort to baking a cake to searching for the source of a stinky smell.”

Movies | UNLIKELY FRIENSHIP | October 24, 2021

What happens when an awkward middle school boy meets a defective robot? Ron’s Gone Wrong tells the story of an unlikely friendship between 7th grader Barney Pudowski and his robot, Ron.

The voice of Barney, a student at Nonsuch Middle School, is played by Jack Dylan Grazer. “He’s a vulnerable and golden-hearted kid with a lot of weak spots,” Grazer said of the character. “His uniqueness makes him similar to his faulty B*Bot—more than he even realizes at first.”

In the end, Ron’s Gone Wrong is a buddy story. Grazer says that the relationship between Barney and Ron redefines what it means to be best friends. “The main message is about true connection and the value of friendship.”

Ron’s Gone Wrong hits theaters on October 22.

Environment | A GLOBAL EFFORT | October 18, 2021

There is a new and wonderful tool in scientists’ toolbox – it is called the Allen Coral Atlas. It is an online map of the world’s coral reefs and conservationists intend to use the atlas to help them protect coral reefs.

Coral reefs are home to many diverse ocean animals and sea creatures, like fish and crabs. The reefs also protect coastlines. And when tourists visit reefs to enjoy their beauty, it brings economic benefits to millions of people.

The atlas was made using more than 2 million images. The images were taken by satellites. The atlas gives users detailed views of coral reefs. It shows sand, rocks, and seagrass. It also shows coral bleaching. Bleaching happens when coral reefs are unhealthy.

The atlas is the work of many people. Scientists at Arizona State University led the project. They worked with other groups.

“It really was a global effort,” Helen Fox of the Coral Reef Alliance said. “There were huge efforts [to help] people be aware of the tool and the potential scientific and conservation value.”

History | ICE AGE ARTWORK | October 13, 2021

A large display of ancient rock art was discovered by British and Colombian archaeologists, known widely as the Serranía La Lindosa paintings.

Spectacular Ice Age Rock Painting

Tens of thousands of paintings created with red mineral pigment, reported to extend over eight miles of rock, were found on cliff faces in the Colombian Amazon rainforest in what is now Colombia’s largest national park, Chiribiquete. The drawings are believed to be over 12,000 years old. They provide further proof that the rainforest’s earliest inhabitants lived alongside Ice Age animals as many of the drawings depict such creatures as mastodons, paleolama, and ice-age horses. The archaeologists made this discovery in 2019 but kept it secret until now, ahead of the rock art’s debut in an upcoming documentary.

Culture | GOLDEN OLDIE | October 12, 2021

It was 90 years ago in France that an amazing discovery was found – a conch shell that is now thought to be the oldest of its kind. Researchers estimate that it’s about 18,000 years old – and it is believed to have been used as a musical instrument.

18,000 year old conch shell!

The shell was found in a cave in France’s Pyrenees region in 1931. Archaeologists thought it was an ancient cup. For decades, it sat in a natural history museum in the city of Toulouse. But recently, researchers took a fresh look at the shell. They found that the tip had been broken off to make a mouthpiece and sound holes had been added. When you blow into it, the shell can play three clear notes.

Rasoul Morteza, a composer in Canada, has studied the sounds produced by shells. “It’s amazing when there’s an object forgotten somewhere,” he says, “and suddenly, it comes again into the light.”

History | STEPPING BACK IN TIME | October 9, 2021

Footprints made thousands of years ago in White Sands National Park in New Mexico have been analyzed by scientists and confirm that humans lived in North America 5,000 years earlier than previously believed.

Footprints forever embedded in the land

Researchers say the fossilized footprints are between 21,000 and 23,000 years old. They were preserved in the mud of an ancient lakeshore, per the findings that were published last month in the journal Science.

Hundreds of thousands of footprints have been found across 125 square miles of the park. One path reveals people hunting a giant sloth, and another path shows a woman walking with a toddler.

To add to this fascinating find, researchers also discovered ancient grass seeds. They were able to estimate the age of the prints by measuring the carbon in those seeds.

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