Science is a field that is ever evolving and it has come a long way with scientific breakthroughs and discoveries constantly pushing the boundaries of possibilities and predictions. The following are some of the biggest scientific discoveries of the previous decade.
Top Scientific Discoveries of the Decade
The first photo of a black hole (2019):
It is a little harder to study something that you have never actually seen, the researchers who have worked on black holes for over the past 200 years can confirm. However, due to the two year old Event Horizon Telescope, the researchers of the black hole do not need to struggle with the lack of a visual any more. In 2019, the Event Horizon telescope captured the first ever photo of one supermassive black hole situated in the centre of the M87 galaxy. It looks like a bright and yellowish red ring of light around a central dark circle which is the hole itself. This hole is where a large quantity of gravity sucks everything in. This image makes way for scientists to better examine and determine precisely about how the universe came to existence and also the possible end of the universe too.
Curiosity Rover on Mars (2012):
NASA effectively and victoriously landed a plutonium driven rover called Curiosity on the surface of the planet Mars in 2012. The rover was the size of a compact car with extremely sophisticated technology and even a science laboratory on wheels. This lab would set out on the planet to observe and find out everything there is to find. The Curiosity rover has since then sent back high quality photos of the landscapes, packed up samples of soil and tested the chemical makeup of them. It has also explored the geological formations, observed the atmospheric behavior and even taken photos of the two moons of Mars eclipsing with the sun.
Birds evolved from dinosaurs (2014):
In a span of four years, scientists have studied 48 species of birds in a group that represents every prominent type of modern bird. This group was then sequenced, assembled, and their genomes were compared. This was the largest data set of birds in history. Through this study, the researchers could finally prove a common belief that birds have evolved from dinosaurs. The primary lineage of these modern birds dates back to around a 100 million years, still their spectacular biodiversity had emerged within a span of only around 10 million years after almost all the dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago. The results of this study provide further proof that the extinction of the dinosaurs is what allowed the birds, mammals and many other forms of living beings to evolve faster and diversify rapidly.
DeepMind – AlphaGo (2017):
The technological developments in the field of artificial intelligence took a huge leap in the previous decade due to “deep learning”. This deep learning enables technology to imitate the behavior and actions of the human brain. This can clearly be seen in Google’s AlphaGo. This computer program plays the board game Go and was being trained for years to play against fellow computers and human champions, and it had almost 30 million moves memorized. The AlphaGo beat the human world champion of the game in the year 2017. According to researchers, scientists and engineers, there is now a race to develop algorithms that have the ability to learn how to discover and find information, how to rapidly adapt to the information and new situations, how to internalize and act on the new knowledge themselves instead of depending on the programmers to feed the correct data. This accomplishment could eventually lead to a new generation of machines that would have the ability to perform any task that humans can.
High quality photos of Pluto (2015):
The mission of New Horizons of NASA transmitted high quality, close up and colorized images of Pluto. It also sent similar photos of Charon, which is one of the five moons of Pluto. When these photos were received on Earth, it caused both awe and wonder. It was now possible to see the surface of the ground in detail, along with the jagged frozen water mountainous landscape.
Recently, the surface landscape was constantly being resurfaced, meaning that the craters and pockmarks that could be found on other planets are scarce on Pluto and Charon. These detailed photos can help in the further investigation for the causes of the smoothening of the surface and the observation of the other moons as well.