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4 Amazing Space Discoveries of the Last Decade

Did you know about these mind-blowing space discoveries humankind made in the last few decades?

When it comes to space discoveries, a lot of people seem to believe that they are not as frequent as they once were. And while we cannot have those extremely shocking space discoveries every other week, that does not mean that they have not been made. In reality, there have been tens of important discoveries made only in the last two decades that are so mind-blowing that it is hard to wrap our heads around them.

To put it into perspective, the most impressive space discovery and achievement back in the day was managing to get a man to the moon! This happened 51 years ago, and it is still impressive! While humankind is looking to see how they can get humans onto the surface of Mars, there are a number of impressive space discoveries that we have to stop and make note of, as they are truly spectacular!

If space has always been an interesting topic to you and you want to make sure you are up to date with the most important space discoveries of the last few decades, make sure you keep on reading!
Which one of them impressed you the most? Were you aware of any of them? Any and all thoughts about this topic are welcome in the comment section!

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New territories being explored

Two of the most interesting space discoveries of 2011 had to do with the territories that have been explored as a result of monumental arrivals. NASA had its eyes on Mercury for a long time, which made the fact that the Messenger spacecraft has managed to enter the planet’s orbit, the first-ever artificial satellite to achieve such a feat, even more impressive.

Likewise, the Dawn spacecraft had managed to find a point of entry in the asteroid belt that bridges Mars and Jupiter. These entries in the orbit of Mercury and the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter were monumental at the time due to how hard they were to achieve before. However, amazing space discoveries were made after these impressive feats, as the two spacecraft then went to work!

Messenger managed to start collecting more data on Mercury, finding out details on the planet’s composition, thin atmosphere, and geology, while Dawn managed to get more information about the space rocks that make up the asteroid belt. Dawn got a lot of insight into the space rock Vesta, which turned out to be made out of a battered surface with deep craters and mountain ranges. This has been one of the biggest space discoveries made when we talk about asteroids, and it helped researchers gain a better understanding of what an asteroid is made out of!

Space-time continuum

There is a long-standing theory among scientists that when two or more objects collide, they create a “wrinkle in the space-time continuum”, which they have appropriately named gravitational waves. However, back in 2016, this theory was upgraded to space discovery since they managed to discover physical proof of this phenomenon!

Using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which is the name of an instrument, they have been able to discover not one but two instances of gravitational waves! Using this instrument, they have seen these two waves, and they reported that they formed when two black holes collided. The repercussions of that incident have echoed across the universe, and as a result, two waves were created.

It is good to remember that these waves are confined when it comes to huge collisions, so it is less likely that we may be able to see a gravitational wave from something that happens on Earth! Still, this space discovery is important and exciting!

The idea of a space-time continuum can be confusing, so maybe reading about it may help us wrap our heads around it. This is why we recommend that you Mysteries of the Space-Time Continuum: A Warped Universe, as it is an amazing book to help us see what this complicated term is all about!

space discoveries
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Mars is no longer unexplored

You probably remember how excited the whole science world was back in 2012 when the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars and was able to send us data. It was the start of a new wave of excitement and wonder when it came to the Red Planet, and it was also the start of several scientific discoveries made on the planet.

The discoveries made on Mars have been baffling for some scientists, as they showed us something that we never thought of before; Mars was once covered in water, and there have been some discoveries that show that there may be organic molecules that resemble life on Earth on the planet!

What’s more, what is under the surface of the planet has managed to bring forward even more space discoveries that are wondrous. There are hints of oxygen and methane under the surface where the rover is walking, and as early as 2018, there have been signs given by the Mars Express that there is an underground reservoir at the south pole of the planet that is full of liquid water!

With all the futuristic ideas that one day we may be able to safely go to Mars and even be able to live there, this discovery has been enough to make all the people who dream of this even more excited about the prospect! Despite this, we still have to be realistic, as we are probably tens, if not hundreds, of years of scientific discoveries away from such a reality!

Voyages of the century

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched together as sister spacecraft in 1977, with their primary goal being to go on a mission and explore Saturn and Jupiter. And while they have indeed achieved this goal, Voyager 2 managed to make another one of those mind-blowing space discoveries as it managed to reach interstellar space back in 2012, 35 years after it left Earth.

Voyager 2 has managed to achieve so many space discoveries that it can easily have a whole textbook full of information on what it has managed to do, and we get to know all of this because, despite being so far away from Earth and having been into space for so long, Voyager 2 has continued to send information about all the uncharted parts of the universe it has reached constantly!

To put it into perspective, the spacecraft is now about 13.2 billion miles away from Earth, and researchers have reported that the spacecraft is sending back data showing not only how intense cosmic radiation is in that part of the universe but also data about how particles from the sun change and interact with particles from other stars in the universe.

The most exciting thing about Voyager 2 for scientists, however, is the fact that over the course of the next 5 years, the spacecraft is going to be able to make some space discoveries that we cannot even imagine at the present time!

If these space discoveries have tickled your brain and left you wanting more, make sure you check if your astronomy knowledge is still fresh! These are some of the most interesting astronomy facts that have never been taught in school!


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