2017 was a wild ride to say the least. Here are some of the most amazing scientific events and discoveries from one of the most momentous years in recent history.
This is What It's Like When Stars Collide
Two Neutron Stars Collide in October
New research into detecting gravitational waves allowed scientists to observe an amazing once in every 100,000 year event, two neutron stars colliding in the Hydra Constellation.
The research team confirmed that collisions like these produce massive amounts of gold and platinum. An estimated $100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in gold was produced from this one collision alone.
The Cassini Spacecraft Ends Its 13 Year Mission by Diving into Saturn
Cassini's Suicide Run into the Ringed Planet
In 2017, Cassini was running very low on fuel. In an effort to prevent the satellite from possibly crashing into one of Saturn's moons which may contain life, NASA decided to send Cassini out with a bang and fly it into the ringed planet while gathering as much data as possible in the plunge.
In its 13 year orbit of Saturn, Cassini sent back the most detailed images of the planet and its moons ever. It discovered water geysers on Enceladus and methane seas on Titan as well as detailed imagery of Saturn's weather patterns.
The FDA Approved the First Cancer Treatments Using Gene Therapy
Fighting Cancer With Your Own Blood Cells
Cancer victims can now fight the disease with genetically modified T-cells from their own bodies programmed to attack and destroy cancer cells.
Through CAR-T therapy, a type of cancer immunotherapy, the patients white blood cells are extracted, modified then injected back into the patient where they go on the offensive to wipe out cancer cells. Treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia was approved in August, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October and research into its use for other types of cancer are ongoing.
The First Total Solar Eclipse to Cross the Entire Continental United States in 99 Years Awes a Nation and the World
Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
In a rare astronomical event, the moon's shadow crossed America from coast to coast in 2017. The eclipse incited a frenzy in the scientific community as people came to the U.S. from all over the world to witness the event.
A partial eclipse could be seen across the entire country while those directly in the shadow's path in the middle states experienced total blackout in a path 71 miles wide.
Archaeologists Discover the Oldest Remains Yet of Modern Man
Ancient Man Dominated the Dark Continent
In a recent find at an excavation in Morocco, Homo sapiens remains were found which could be up to 350,000 years old. The startling discovery puts the emergence of modern man at least 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
The skeletal remains and skulls found question the idea that modern man came from a single area in Africa called Mesopotamia. The new findings indicate that modern man may have evolved from all over Africa and may have lived as far back as 500,000 years.
We Had a Visitor From Outer Space
Something Mysterious This Way Comes
In a first for science, a strange asteroid from interstellar space was discovered as it came into our solar system and slingshotted around our sun before traveling on to destinations unknown.
The asteroid, named 'Oumuamua because it was discovered by a Hawaiian observatory, is particularly unusual because of its long cylindrical shape. The strange nature of the object prompted an array of scans to determine if the asteroid might be artificial in origin. Authur C. Clarke fans were disappointed that no evidence was found indicating it might be an alien craft.
Scientists Have Developed a New Life Form but Used Artificial Parts Just in Case
Scientists Build DNA Strand With New Letters
Researchers have successfully created strands of DNA using an artificial instruction system which can produce new matter inside living cells.
The material is alive but don't be scared yet. Scientists built in a fail safe. The new genetic code sections are made from artificial letters which are not readily found in nature and must be supplied by man in order for the DNA to reproduce. Still kind of spooky eh? The new discovery is being used to develop more effective drugs for humans, not to replace them. Let's hope it stays that way.
Astronomers Found a Solar System With 7 Earth Sized Planets. 3-4 of Them Are in the Goldilocks Zone Where They Could Support Life.
The Greatest Discovery of 2017 in the Search for Life
One of the most amazing discoveries in science for 2017 was finding a system called TRAPPIST-1 which is only 39 light years from Earth and contains 7 Earth sized planets, three of which are right in the habitable Goldilocks zone.
The star in the center of TRAPPIST-1 is a red dwarf which is cooler than our sun. The planets are much closer to the star and move faster than the Earth does but are still in the Goldilocks zone due to the much lower temperature of the system's sun in comparison to our own.
Elon Musk Gives Details About the SpaceX Mission to Mars Including a New Reusable Rocket in Development That Dwarfs the Payload Capacity of Anything Before It
The Technology to Launch an Entire Colony in One Spacecraft is Becoming a Reality!
Becoming a Multi-Planet Species
A new rocket, (the BFR) in production now, will make it happen; it can launch from Earth, land on Mars, then take off, return home and land safely back on Earth. Multiple systems can refuel each other and travel back and forth between any place we want to visit or set up a colony. One of the most amazing things about the BFR is that it can lift 150 tons into space from Earth, more than any other vehicle before it. Perhaps most extraordinary is that the BFR can do this cheaper than the cost of one of the smallest modern cargo rockets, the Falcon 1 which can only lift 0.7 tons.
China Teleported Photons Over 870 miles Into Space Using Quantum Technology
When Science Fiction Becomes Reality...
The Chinese have successfully teleported photons from Earth to an orbiting satellite, not once but several times in an experiment designed as a proof of concept for quantum computing.
While we probably won't be beaming ourselves up to the International Space Station any time soon, this is no trifling matter. The more attainable applications are a world wide network of computers which can effectively work as one system and super-secure, almost instantaneous quantum internet across almost any distance we can get a receiver to. Imagine video conferencing with someone on Mars with zero delay or loss of call quality to put it in perspective.
This breakthrough has the potential to make the worldwide web obsolete as an outdated, slow, hardwired system that is better recycled for the value of its cables. And that is just the beginning. SkyNet, here we come!
While these scientific discoveries are all amazing, they are by far not all that was discovered in 2017. From the discovery of an entire new continent under the ocean to genetically modified pig organs for human use, the list goes on...
Stay tuned to The Nova Ratio as we head into a new year. We can't wait to see what happens next!