A brief list of significant discoveries made during the year 2010.
Science is made up of milestones which through the years build the amazing knowledge we have reached today. Some are small, other huge, but all milestones contributed in a great way to open the way to even more discoveries. Let’s look together to some of the greatest scientific findings reached in 2010.
The first one: The Sun makes noise. Sound-waves emitted from the sun may provide fascinating evidences of what’s going on in our luminous neighbour, so important for our life on the planet Earth.
Astronomers have also discovered a star far larger than the Sun at the centre of a Stars cluster in the Tarantula Nebula, an extended cloud of gas and dust moving through one of the Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxies. The star, called R136a1, is the heaviest star ever found. R136a1’s weight is 265 times that of the sun and it’s thought that once the star was 320 times the weight of our sun.
Professor Crowther from the University of Sheffield reported that ‘unlike humans, these stars are born heavy and lose weight as they age’. R136a1 should be middle-aged and has already undergone an intense ‘weight loss’ program, shedding a fifth of its initial mass. The star is also 10.000.000 (ten million) times more luminous than the sun. The star was the most massive of several giants identified by Professor Crowther and his team as reported in an article published in the monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Scientists also discovered an Earth-like planet, called Gliese 581g, which is 20 Light-Years away in the constellation Libra. The planet Gliese 581g is only three times the size of our own planet Earth.
This discovery made by Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Steven Vogt, and his team of Scientists, if confirmed, is considered the most important one in the hunt of extraterrestrial life, since Gliese 581g is fundamentally the first ‘Goldilocks’ planet discovered outside of the Earth. In other words, it’s a planet falling within a star’s habitable zone.
The planet’s discoverer, Steven Vogt, seems to be convinced that the chances to have life on Gliese 581g are 100%.
Another interesting discovery this year makes Scientists think that life on Earth started about 650.000.000 years ago. They found a primitive sponge Fossil in South Australia which seems to indicate that the Fossils record for Animals on Earth must be pushed back of at least 70 Million years. The sponge fossil appears to be the earliest known animal.
Scientists have also found species on Earth which were thought to be extinct but they are actually still around. They are two kind of African Frogs and a Salamander which was not found anymore for over 70 decades, until it was found again this year in a cave in Mexico.
Researchers have also found evidence of a rat weighting 13 pounds in East Timor, belonging to the largest ever species of rat.
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….and Happy New Year to all!!!!