This week, Ingenuity officially made its first Martian flight. The rover took video of this four pound helicopter in action. This first flight proves that we can create a vehicle here on Earth and still have it fly on a different planet. The challenges of flying on Mars include less gravity and a very small atmosphere. Since flight depends so much on the flow of air particles, this helicopter has two 4-foot wide rotors.
While on the subject of space, planetary scientists have been working on equations to figure out what rain might be like on other planets. Kaitlyn Loftus of Harvard believes it doesn’t matter what the raindrops are made of or what the atmosphere is like, raindrops are about the same size. Clouds are tricky to understand, but raindrops follow some laws of physics. If you understand thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, you can figure out raindrops. The scientists studied lots of different planets and moons with many different types of rain, from methane on Titan to ammonia on Jupiter and even iron rain on the gas giant exoplanet WASP 76b.
In news that exists the young paleontologist in all of us, scientists believe there may have been billions of T-rexs. Now, since the tyrannosaurus rex was around for 2-3 million years, this works out to about 20,000 T-rexs roaming the North America at any one time.
If you are looking to join a citizen science project, they are looking for people to record observations about pollinators and sunflowers. Science Friday has data sheets for you to enter your results to help scientists study pollinators on large scale. For those who enjoyed learning about pollinators, there will be a Zoom on April 26 people can register for to vote for their favorite pollinators.