Extreme athletes have been using wingsuits — unique jumpsuits with fabric stitched between the arms and body and between the legs — to fly untethered for many years. However, while the "birdman" or "squirrel" suits allow daredevils to soar in the skies, the pull of gravity makes it impossible to accelerate or fly higher. To push past the limitations, Austrian stuntman Peter Salzmann teamed up with German car manufacturer BMW. The result is an electrified wingsuit, which allows flyers to zoom to higher altitudes at speeds of up to 186 miles per hour!
Thanksgiving, which is observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, is one of the most anticipated American holidays. The celebrations usually center around a delicious feast enjoyed with extended family members and friends. While the COVID-19 pandemic will put a damper on large in-person gatherings, the holiday can still be enjoyed with those living within the same household or part of the same social bubble. Here are some fun Thanksgiving tidbits to get the party started.
Stars that get too close to black holes usually end up getting sucked in by the strong gravitational forces of the dense space objects, from which no light can escape. Now, for the first time, researchers have been able to observe the cosmic phenomenon — nicknamed "spaghettification" because it pulls apart a star into thin "spaghetti-like" strands — in real-time.
Soft robots, which can move around the ocean without harming sea life, are ideal for underwater exploration. However, they are rarely deployed because they are extremely slow and have a hard time maneuvering through the water. But that may change soon thanks to an innovative, self-propelling soft robot created by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.
Starting Thursday, November 12, 2020, over a billion people worldwide will begin celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Also known as Deepavali, the ancient tradition, which dates back over 2,500 years, is observed by Indians of many faiths, including Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. While the commemoration lasts five days, the most important day — the celebration's namesake — falls on the third day. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Saturday, November 14, 2020.
For non-believers, this year's second — and final — Friday the 13th is just the start of a weekend. However, for the estimated twenty million people in the US, and scores more worldwide, that suffer from "friggatriskaidekaphobia," or "paraskevidekatriaphobia," November 13, 2020, will be fraught with bad luck. Though some of the fear can be blamed on the Friday the 13th movie franchise, the day's bad reputation began long before the film’s hockey-masked villain, Jason Voorhees, made an appearance.
After almost a week of painstaking ballot counting, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected president of the United States on Saturday, November 7, 2020. The Associated Press — which bases its determination on freelance local reporters who accumulate vote counts from clerks in every county of the 50 states — announced that the former vice president had secured 290 electoral college votes, 20 more than the 270 needed to be selected the country's president.
The presence of ice in the permanently shadowed craters around the Moon's poles has been known for some time. However, researchers had been unsure if the hydration detected on the satellite's sunlit areas was "molecular" water (H2O), or hydroxyl (OH), a molecule that's one hydrogen atom shy of becoming water. On October 26, 2020, NASA confirmed that the liquid was indeed water.