Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy: the "Wright Brothers Moment" and a big Pink Moon

Apr 20, 2021

An illustration of NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter flying on Mars
Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Flickr

NASA engineers got their "Wright Brothers moment" Monday when the solar-powered Ingenuity helicopter climbled straight up about ten feet, hovered, and dropped down again, the 40 second flight making history.  (You can see the video here: "NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight")

Not only did the little helicopter land safely back at what NASA has designated "Wright Brothers Field," it carries a piece of fabric from the Wright brother's first biplane.

A composite image of 232 photos "stacked" to form the trails. Lyrid meteor shower 2013
Credit Jeremy Gillard/Flickr

Meanwhile, back on boring old Earth, we have the Lyrid meteor showers to look forward to Thursday morning around 3:00am...

Credit Jim Mullhaupt/Flickr

And April's full moon will be coming up pink on April 26. Yet another "super moon," this one will appear about 7% larger and 15% brighter than "regular" full moons.

As always, you can read more from Astro Bob at his blog Astro Bob or at Astro Bob: Celestial happenings you can see from your own back yard