In case you were curious about some of the most groundbreaking discoveries in science look no further. From an amazing exoplanet to the Great American Solar Eclipse, here are some of the biggest scientific discoveries of the decade.
9. Australopithecus Sediba
This name belongs to a species that was discovered in 2010 by a group of scientists in a South African cave. Australopithecus Sediba are believed to have existed about 2 million years ago and have many features that are similar to humans’ like their teeth, nose, and long arms.
8. Kepler 22B
2011 came along with the discovery of an earth-like planet known as Kepler 22B. This planet is the first exoplanet to ever be discovered by scientists and is thought to be a promising spot to search for life. Kepler 22B is 2.4 times bigger than earth and a year on the planet is equivalent to 290 days. This planet is 600 light years away. That means it would take 600 years for light to reach Kepler 22B from earth. For now, we can only dream of what it would be like on this planet.
7. The Higgs Boson
Of course, 2012 came and the world didn’t end as many had earlier thought. 2012 was also the year scientists discovered an elementary particle called the Higgs Boson. This particle gives mass to all other subatomic particles like protons and electrons. It is important to note that this discovery was considered the biggest in a generation.
6. Surge In Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
In 2013, scientist discovered that our atmosphere had the most carbon dioxide ever recorded in human history. Before the industrial revolution, the atmosphere only had 280 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide. However, scientists discovered that this number had risen significantly in 2013. Subsequent scientific studies show that this number is still on the rise.
5. Probe on a Comet
The ice bucket challenge was one of the biggest trends of 2014. When it comes to science, however, scientists were celebrating the first ever landing of a probe on a comet recorded in human history. Due to a little accident, this probe did not land efficiently on the comet and so, it’s solar panels were not facing the sunlight.
As a result, the probe only had three days before it would die off on the comet. Nevertheless, we were still able to gather some data including the first ever photos from the surface of a comet. It was also discovered that the water on the comet had a different chemical makeup from the water on our planet.
2015 was the year that CRISPR-Cas9 became a household name is the scientific community. CRISPR-Cas 9 is a magnificent gene-editing tool that can add or alter sections of the DNA. In fact, 2015 was the year the world witnessed the rise of effective genetic engineering.
3. The Detection of Gravitational Waves
In 2016, the LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaboration detected gravitational waves in space. Gravitational waves occur when spinning massive objects in space collide with each other. This apparently happened in 2016 and led to the first observation of gravitational waves. These gravitational waves allow us see and hear the universe in a way like never before.
2. The Great American Solar Eclipse
This solar eclipse took place on August 21, 2017. It was the day that a 88% of Americans spent large portions of their day looking at the eclipse in real life or on their computers.
1. The First Visual-Depiction Of A Black Hole
This was definitely one of the biggest scientific discoveries for science lovers around the world. In 2019, researchers unveiled the first visual depiction of a black hole which is 55 million light years away. This was an interesting moment in history when countries around the world worked together to get information about an an object far away in distant space. Most importantly, this image confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity.
From these scientific discoveries above, it is clear that we have really advanced as a species. Which of these discoveries wowed you the most? Tell us in the comment section below.