Brain with “science” written over it

This year was full of excitement in the science. A lot of new facts came out in the various field of science, such as physics, health, environment, astronomy etc. Here is the top list of science discoveries in 2016.

Gravitational Waves

They are real! In February 2016 scientist manage to detect gravitational waves. This is perhaps the biggest physicists discovery in this century. A new era of physics might be born. And yes – Einstein was right.

Simulation of merging black holes radiating gravitational waves
Simulation of merging black holes radiating gravitational waves

Life Without The Heart

Thanks to the ‘artificial heart’ in a backpack, that 25-year old man wore for 555 days, scientists manage to keep him alive more than a year without heart in his body. This success will courage doctors for further research in the heart transplantation procedures.

Stan Larkin with portable Freedom Driver
Stan Larkin has a total artificial heart powered by the portable Freedom Driver, allowing him to leave the hospital while he waits for a transplant

Life Without 90% Of Brain

There is a French man who lives relatively normal and healthy life even though he don’t have a 90% of his brain. Doctors think he suffers from a condition called hydrocephalus. The man identity is confidential, but what is known is that he work as a civil servant, he is married and father of 2 kids.

Brain scan of a French man missing most of his brain
Brain scan of a French man missing most of his brain. Feuillet et al./The Lancet

Revolutionary Nuclear Fusion Machine

The goal of achieving clean, limitless energy through nuclear fusion was never closer. Physicists in Germany constructed nuclear fusion device – the 16-metre-wide machine is the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) called stellarator. The machine really works.

Nuclear fusion device
Nuclear fusion device. Image: stellarator

New Earth-like Planet

In our closest neighboring star system Alpha Centauri new exoplanet has been discovered and called Proxima b. This was very important founding, as Proxima is only 4.2 light years from us. Scientists are already planning a mission to visit it.

Artist's conception of Proxima Centauri b, with Proxima Centauri and the Alpha Centauri binary system in the background
Artist’s conception of Proxima Centauri b, with Proxima Centauri and the Alpha Centauri binary system in the background. Image: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Earth’s quasi-satellite

Astronomers discovered “mini-moon” called 2016 HO3 that is orbiting together with the moon. It is a small asteroid and it is a constant companion of Earth.

Asteroid
NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Moving of North Pole

The North Pole isn’t stable as it looks on the map, but scientist discovered that it change the course and moving towards the London. NASA team revealed that the cause of this changes are humans. Our influence on the Earth water content is related to the North Pole motion.

Two Liquid States Of Water

Physicists discovered that somewhere between the temperatures of 40 and 60 degrees Celsius liquid water switch between two different states of liquid. This discovery is extremely important in nanometric and biological systems.

Water droplet creating ripples

Floppy Dinosaurs

Scientists found perfect preserved dinosaurs feathers, which gives us a lot more information than we have about this magnificent creatures.

Dinosaur

Milky Way Visibility

Due to the light pollution, 1/3 of humanity are not able to see the Milky Way anymore. This fact influences our health as we have endogenous circadian rhythmicity – built-in cycle for sleep and wake patterns. The natural darkness is important to keep that cycle up.

World map of artificial sky brightness
World map of artificial sky brightness. Image: APoD – NASA

Discovery Of Pear-Shaped Nucleus

If you ever dream about time traveling, the discovery of pear-shaped nucleus will make it definitely impossible. Yet, the good thing is that this new form of atomic nuclei can help us with biggest and more pressured question – dark matter.

Nucleus shaped like a pear
Thanks to this pear-shaped nucleus, we likely won’t ever time travel. Image: ISOLDE/CERN

As we can see, so many things were discovered and make this year quite excited. But what is the best about the science – there are always more and more, that waiting for us in the future.

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