6 Epic Discoveries You Probably Missed in 2019

6 Epic Discoveries You Probably Missed in 2019

6 Epic Discoveries You Probably Missed in 2019
Image Credits: The Week

2019 was a great year for science. There were numerous discoveries on our planet as well as in space.  The headline of 2019 came from space when the first successful image of a black hole was captured. The following are some other epic discoveries of 2019 that may surprise you!

The Plasma Shield that Guards Us

The Plasma Shield that Guards Us - Epic Discoveries

There is a violent clash unfolding at the frontier of our solar system. The collision between the crackling solar wind and powerful cosmic rays creates a Heliopause at the boundary of our Copernican system. The Heliopause is a theoretical boundary where the interstellar medium and solar wind pressures balance out.

This discovery was made when the Voyager probes of NASA passed through the region and entered interstellar space. Astronomers observed that there is much more to Heliopause than being a symbolic boundary. They found that it’s also a physical wall of soupy plasma that acts as a shield.

This shield deflects and dilutes the worst of the incoming radiation that hits our solar system. This plasma “shield”, theoretically deflects about 70% of cosmic rays from entering our solar system. You could call it the shield that guards the realms of men. This epic discovery has urged astronomers to find what lies beyond the Heliopause.

It Snows on Mars

It Snows on Mars - Epic Discoveries

Mars is probably the only planet fully inhabited by robots so far. Despite that, there’s still a whole lot we don’t know about the Red Planet. According to the simulations, the summertime snow on Mars happens in bursts that can last for several hours. These findings were presented in a report that was published in the journal “Nature Geoscience”.

Flakes of water ice fall from clouds high in the planet’s atmosphere, sometimes failing to reach the ground. Perhaps they leave a frosty fingerprint that greets the dawn on the planet.

Awesome Diabetes Breakthrough

Awesome Diabetes Breakthrough - Epic Discoveries

In April 2019, researchers found a brand-new type of insulin-producing cell that had been hiding in plain sight all along. What makes it even more interesting is that it is present right within the pancreas.

These “virgin beta cells” have opened up new paths for scientists who are trying to understand type 1 diabetes. Scientists are also planning to use this epic discovery of 2019 to come up with new and effective treatments.

Cracking of Prince Rupert’s Drop Mystery

Cracking of Prince Rupert’s Drop Mystery

Prince Rupert’s Drops are the perplexing droplets that can be made by dripping molten glass into water. This results in tear-shaped baubles that are incredibly strong on the thicker end. You can hit them with a hammer or shoot them with a gun, and they won’t break.

On the other hand, simply snap the tail of the droplet and suddenly the whole thing bursts apart. For years, researchers have been trying to figure out why that happens. This riddle was finally solved in 2019 when scientists hit the thinner end of these baubles. Unlike some other epic discoveries on the list, this finding took nearly 400 years of research.

Black Hole Babies from the Early Universe

Black Hole Babies from the Early Universe

In March 2019, Japanese astronomers searched for baby pictures of the universe. For this purpose, they turned their telescope to a corner of space 13 billion light-years away. They spied 83 previously undiscovered supermassive black holes dating to the early days of the universe.

Scientists estimate that these supermassive black holes were around as few as 800 million years after the Big Bang. This makes them one of the earliest objects ever detected. The composite image of all 83 quasars may not be cute but it’s certainly one of the coolest epic discoveries.

Tardigrades on the Moon

Tardigrades on the Moon

Tardigrades are eight-legged micro animals that are known to survive the harshest conditions possible. Also called water bears, tardigrades are seemingly indestructible. They can survive being desiccated, extreme heat, extreme cold, and even the vacuum of space.

The Israeli spacecraft “Beresheet” crashed into the moon during a failed landing attempt on April 11, 2019. This lander was carrying human DNA samples, tardigrades, and 30 million digitized pages of information about human society and culture.

Tardigrades can dehydrate their bodies and still live on if hydrated after 10 years. It is unknown whether anything survived the explosive crash but if any creature could, it would be a tardigrade. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *