Hundreds of people gather outside an elementary school in Portland, Oregon. They sit on blankets and look up at a tall brick chimney. Thousands of tiny birds swoop in. The chimney is kind of like their hotel. Every year, they stop there while migrating south.
The tiny birds are called Vaux (pronounced “vawks”) Swifts. They are about four inches long. The black spots on their faces look like eyepatches. Every year, bird-lovers come to see them in Portland. People even come from as far as Europe! But the birds have a problem. They are running out of “hotels.” They can stay only in very old chimneys. Many such chimneys have been knocked down.
People are busy trying to get the famous birds to stay in new places. The city built a tall tower. People smeared the inside with swift dung. They played the swift call loudly. It was as if they were saying, “Come stay here!” But so far, none of the birds have.
Last week, people walking the streets of Boston saw something unusual—brightly painted pianos. Each instrument came with a message. “Play Me, I’m Yours.”
People in Boston did play the pianos. So did people in 49 other cities around the world. A British artist named Luke Jerram is responsible for the pianos. You can find his pianos in London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, and many other places.
In Boston, a piano stands in each of the city’s 23 neighborhoods. High school students take turns. They play and sing pop tunes. A famous pianist performs classical music. But you don’t have to know what you’re doing to take a turn on the keys.
The pianos came to Boston in 2013 too. That year, 500,000 people used them! The pianos will stay in the streets until October 10. Can you find them in a city near you?
The Hubble Telescope floats in space. On Monday, it took new pictures of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The pictures showed something scientists have never seen there before—liquid water bursting from the moon into space!
Scientists think Europa has an underground ocean. Europa is about the same size as Earth’s moon. But it is very icy. Scientists think the ocean hides under its icy crust. They are excited about the liquid water shooting from the moon. It means that if they visit the moon, they will not have to drill through ice to find out what the ocean holds. That will save them lots of work.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. — Psalm 19:1
Messages from Space?
It sounds like something from a movie. But in China, it is really happening.
Chinese scientists and builders created the world’s largest radio telescope. Building it took five years and $180 million. What is it for? For hearing messages from outer space!
Researchers say the telescope will search for gravitational waves. It will pick up on radio signals coming from stars. It will listen for signs of life outside of Earth.
In order for the telescope to do its job, there must be absolute silence all around it. Eight thousand people had to move away from the area so that could happen.
The telescope officially launched this weekend. Tourists can pay to visit it. When they do, they have to turn off their electronics. The telescope may not find alien life. But it will make money on visitors. Will all the work and money spent be worth it in the end?
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