From unexplainable noises and lights in Virginia to dating the age of the oldest sea creatures in the world, the interesting headlines decorating the newsfeeds and papers for March 2009 also include the welcomed return of the space shuttle Discovery.
Mystery Noise and Light in Virginia
The residents of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia got quite a scare on Sunday night, as an unexplainable boom and light was seen over the skies. To date, the cause behind the phenomenon is still unclear. Around 9:45 pm, locals started calling 911, as they questioned what in the world made their doors and windows shake during the same time that the boom was heard.
In the past, similar reports have been filed, which turned out to be the work of meteors that have a reputation for exploding in the atmosphere , leaving behind a thunderous noise that also causes bright flashes of light to decorate the sky. There is a possibility that we will never find out what caused this particular occasion, as it is not uncommon for an event like this to remain a mystery.
As Local National Weather Service meteorologists discuss the noise and light with the United States Navy, Air Force, and NASA, more information may emerge, but for now, it is clear that meteorology had nothing to do with this case. Radar and lightning strike data did not reveal a possible cause.
Oldest Sea Creatures Get New Age
This month, new research has been revealed that a coral species dating back 4,265 years has been located off the coast of Hawaii. In determining the age of deep-sea corals, radioactive dating was used, which means that deep-sea corals are the oldest living animals that possess a skeleton and dwell in deep waters. Sadly, we are in danger of losing these fascinating gems, as climate changes and pollution threaten the existence of deep-sea corals.
Deep-sea corals are important to the balance of deep waters, as they are significant to ocean biodiversity and serve a purpose for many other marine organisms. If you want to learn more about the oldest creatures of the sea, numerous headlines in the news have described the plight of the largest coral reef system in the world (the Great Barrier Reef located off the coast of Queensland, Australia). Other large reefs include examples in the Red Sea, along the coast of Mexico and Belize, the Bahamas, as well as in the Maldives.
Discovery Shuttle Returns After Successful Mission
It was going to be the last opportunity for the Discovery crew to complete their 13-day mission, but the Discovery finally returned to Earth after a brief delay caused by the weather. The shuttle Discovery and its crew (consisting of seven) successfully landed after finishing up a construction mission on the international space station, which included the establishment of solar wings and added electrical power. After Mission Control delayed Discovery’s return by about 90 minutes (or the equivalent of one orbit), the windy and cloudy weather conditions let up just enough to give the OK for the shuttle’s arrival.