The universe is one of the most fascinating topics we come across. We are intrigued by the possibilities that space travel brings, including the colonization of other planets and the potential discovery of sentient life like our own across the universe. For generations, looking up at the cosmos has nurtured our imagination and even guided our lives and travel. Though our ancestors were often skilled astronomers and mathematicians, their skills and resources only permitted them to go so far in their discovery of the universe. For this list, we have scoured the latest in space news to bring you some of the most recent space discoveries scientists have made.
From a cosmic collision which produced tons of gold to a star which is basically a massive diamond, the space discoveries we have made in the past decade have pushed our understanding to new heights. They also have often invalidated past theories, forcing astronomers to consider alternatives for how we came to exist in the grand universe. From the coldest place in the universe to a comet which produces its own alcohol, put on your space suit as we blast into these 25 Recent Space Discoveries That Blew Our Minds.
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In 2013, astronomers confirmed the presence of 20 billion exoplanets in our Milky Way Galaxy alone which are similar to Earth (and thus may contain life). With the billions of galaxies in the universe, that’s billions of billions of planets which may harbor life.
Pluto's not lost yet
Space lovers were devastated in 2006 when Pluto was demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet. Those refusing to accept its fate were rewarded in 2015 when the New Horizons spacecraft passed by the hunk of ice and rock, revealing that it acts more like a true planet than a dwarf planet. The probe found Pluto has a gravity strong enough to hold onto its atmosphere and deflect charged particles from solar wind.
The gold star collision
The year 2013 was a fantastic year for astronomy. Astronomers also detected the collision of two stars which produced tons and tons of gold, weighing many times the mass of our own Moon.
Scientists have recently released evidence that massive tsunamis may have rocked the Martian landscape. A discovery that blew the minds of many in the space community, the researchers posit that two meteor strikes caused huge tidal waves which would have produced 165 feet (50 m) high waves.
The Godzilla of Earth
Our planet is one of the larger-sized rocky planets, but in 2014 scientists found a planet twice its size and 17 times as heavy. Though planets of this size were thought to be gas giants, this planet – named Kepler-10c – is remarkably similar to our own and has been called the “Godzilla of Earth”.