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The 5 Most Amazing Scientific Discoveries Of The Last Decade.

A Decade Of Discovery: Unveiling The Unknown.

By Aliyu MustaphaPublished about a month ago 3 min read

The last ten years have been a scientific odyssey, propelling us further into the unknown and rewriting our understanding of the cosmos. From the fringes of our solar system to the enigmatic depths of black holes, researchers have made groundbreaking discoveries that have left us both awestruck and yearning for more. Let's delve into the top 5 scientific breakthroughs of the past decade that have redefined our place in the universe.

5: Pluto: A Reborn King

In 2015, NASA's New Horizons mission arrived at Pluto, a dwarf planet once relegated to the status of a frozen, lifeless rock. However, the spacecraft unveiled a world teeming with unexpected activity. Pluto boasts vast nitrogen glaciers that "flow" like rivers on Earth, majestic mountains of water ice sculpted by these icy currents, and a mesmerizing subsurface ocean. This discovery shattered our perception of dwarf planets, suggesting they might harbor more geological complexity than previously thought. It also compels us to re-evaluate our understanding of the formation of our solar system, hinting at a more dynamic and chaotic early environment.

4: The Higgs Boson: The Missing Piece

In 2012, the scientific community erupted in excitement as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced the long-sought-after detection of the Higgs boson particle. Nicknamed the "God particle" for its role in explaining a fundamental force in physics, the Higgs boson fills a crucial gap in the Standard Model, our current understanding of the subatomic world. This particle interacts with other fundamental particles, imparting them with mass. Without the Higgs boson, everything in the universe, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the grandest galaxy, would be massless and behave in entirely different ways. The discovery of the Higgs boson wasn't just about finding a single particle; it was about validating a complex theoretical framework that has guided physicists for decades.

3: A Universe Teeming with Exoplanets

The Kepler Space Telescope, launched in 2009, revolutionized our perspective on planetary systems beyond our own. By meticulously monitoring the brightness of stars, Kepler could detect the subtle dips in light caused by orbiting planets. As of today, Kepler has identified over 4,055 exoplanets, a staggering number that dwarfs our previous estimates. This bounty includes planets of all sizes, from scorching hot gas giants to rocky worlds nestled within a star's habitable zone, the region where liquid water, a potential prerequisite for life, could exist on the surface. The sheer number of exoplanets suggests that planetary systems are likely as common as stars themselves, bolstering the possibility of finding life elsewhere in the universe.

2: Climate Change: A Stark Reality

The past decade has seen an undeniable acceleration in climate change, with the consequences becoming increasingly evident. Rising global temperatures have triggered a domino effect – unprecedented ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica, rising sea levels threatening coastal communities, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, and floods. This alarming trend has also pushed an alarming number of species towards extinction. Research indicates human activities such as burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of this crisis. This stark reality has spurred a global movement towards clean energy solutions and sustainable practices.

1: Black Holes: Unveiling the Unseen

Black holes, those celestial behemoths with gravity so immense that not even light can escape their grasp, have long captivated scientists and the public alike. The past decade has witnessed significant advancements in understanding these enigmatic objects. In 2015, scientists at the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) detected the first-ever direct evidence of gravitational waves, ripples in spacetime predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. These waves were generated by the collision of two massive black holes billions of light-years away. This groundbreaking discovery marked a new era in gravitational wave astronomy, allowing us to "hear" the universe in ways never before possible. Furthermore, in 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration unveiled the first ever image of a black hole, capturing the swirling vortex of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy. These breakthroughs have opened a new window into the realm of black holes, providing invaluable insights into their behavior and the extreme conditions that exist near their event horizons.

The last decade has been a testament to the relentless human quest to understand the universe. As we stand on the precipice of a new era, these discoveries serve as a springboard for further exploration. The next decade promises to be even more groundbreaking, with advancements in space exploration, gene editing, artificial intelligence, and climate change solutions holding the potential to reshape our world. As we embark on this ongoing journey of discovery, let curiosity continue to be our guide.

Science

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    AMWritten by Aliyu Mustapha

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