Super-bright galaxies powered by black holes have helped astronomers come up with the most accurate distance yet to the iconic Pleiades star cluster.
The measurement, which used quasars as bright and consistent relative-distance markers, charted the famous "Seven Sisters" star cluster at 136.2 parsecs, or 444 light-years, away from Earth.
The geckos had been on a two-month mission launched to facilitate research on the effects of zero-gravity on reproductive systems.
Last week, Roscosmos announced abruptly that the mission had reached completion earlier than anticipated — after a mere 44 days.
The satellite landed in Orenburg on Monday afternoon amid widespread speculation on the crew of tiny cosmonauts' survival prospects. Upon cracking open the hatch, rescue teams discovered a tragic scene.