The scientific community is always growing and looking to expand mankind’s knowledge of the world around us. Every year, there are new discoveries made and old knowledge rediscovered. 2017 was no exception. From the discovery of a new continent to uncovering a secret chamber in the Great Pyramid, here are five of the most amazing discoveries of 2017.
In the South Pacific, a team of scientists discovered a new continent. Resting on the bottom of the ocean, the continent lies between New Zealand and New Caledonia. Although it is on the ocean floor, the team discovered fossils of plants and animals, indicating that this was once above the sea. It is estimated to be over ninety percent submerged and is thought to be the youngest of the continents on Earth.
An Artificial Womb
At the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, researchers developed a system to create artificial wombs. These were able to grow the fetuses of lambs for four weeks. Although they are not ready for use on human infants just yet, there is hope that the technology will be ready in less than six years. This technology is groundbreaking, as birth can be fatal to newborns or lead to a wide variety of health problems.
Life on Other Planets?
Although other planets like Mars cannot sustain life, as an article on themoniterdaily.com points out, there may be other planets that can. Nearby to our own solar system is the TRAPPIST-1 system, made up of seven planets circling their own star. In terms of space, this solar system is less than 50 light years away from Earth. Scientists say that this solar system is in a part of space called the “Goldilocks Zone.” It’s called this because it is not too hot and not too cold. It’s the perfect temperature for life. Additionally, these planets are near enough that they are possible for scientists from Earth to do additional research on.
A Secret Chamber
Using a new imaging technique, based on muon particles, researchers in Egypt were able to undergo additional studies and investigate the Great Pyramid at Giza. This technology is ground-breaking, allowing archaeologists to peer into ancient tombs without opening them. This study showed that there is, in fact, a large empty space inside the Great Pyramid, although they’re not sure if it’s a specific chamber or tomb.
Looking deeper, 2017 saw some new discoveries in the field of quantum mechanics. While working with the Large Hadron Collider, or the LHC, an analysis of subatomic particles revealed that there were five new particles that had not yet been seen by humans. These particles have not been studied in depth, but scientists are confident that they will help reveal more information about the universe.
Scientific discovery is an important part of human culture. People have the drive to learn more and to be able to explain the world around them, at least in part. As we learn more, however, we find answers to some of our questions while coming up with additional questions. That is one of the miracles of science.