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The main scientific discoveries of 2020 according to Hi-News.ru

2020 was a year full of amazing discoveries.The biggest achievement of modern science in 2020 is by far the record-breaking development of effective vaccines against COVID-19. This is a real feat of exploration from around the world, and should be honored with awards soon. But the outgoing year will be remembered not only by the coronavirus pandemic: amazing scientific discoveries have been made in various fields of science. Some of them are simply impossible not to notice - the most detailed images of the Sun, the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and its docking with the International Space Station (ISS), the chipping of pigs as part of the Elon Musk project Neurolink and the discovery of water on the Moon are just a few of the most memorable discoveries of 2020. of the year. The editorial staff of Hi-News.ru congratulates readers on the New Year and invites you to remember the most important and most interesting discoveries of the hottest (in every sense of the word) year in history. Go!

Bye, 2020!

Content

  • 1 The most detailed photographs of the Sun
  • 2 Phosphine in the clouds of Venus
  • 3 Vaccines against coronavirus
  • 4 Water on the Moon
  • 5 SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft launch on the ISS
  • 6 Chipping Neuralink Elon Musk
  • 7 The hottest decade in history
  • 8 Compiled the most detailed map of the Universe

The most detailed photographs of the Sun

This is what a sunspot looks like in the lens.telescope is located at a distance of 149.6 million kilometers from our planet. The size of the spot itself is estimated by researchers at 16 thousand kilometers, the smallest structures in the image are up to 20 kilometers in size.

Sunspots are dark areas on the sun,which help scientists track activity on the surface of a star. Here is the clearest image of a sunspot to date, taken with the DKIST (Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope) optical telescope in Hawaii and equipped with a 4.24-meter main mirror and adaptive optics system. The spot itself appears dark due to the fact that the plasma in it is colder than in the areas surrounding the spot. Recall that sunspots are often harbingers of solar flares - intense emissions of energy from the sun's surface.

Interestingly, a photograph of a spot called AR 2757, was taken on January 28, 2020, at the stage of putting the telescope into operation. Today DKIST is the largest and most advanced ground-based solar telescope.

See also: The most detailed photographs of the Sun's surface were obtained

Phosphine in the clouds of Venus

In the atmosphere of Venus, traces of phosphine, a phosphorus compound, which under Earth conditions are produced only by microorganisms or synthesized under laboratory conditions, were found.

The search for alien life in 2020 acquiredalmost revolutionary in nature. So, one of the brightest events of the year was the discovery in the atmosphere of Venus of traces of phosphine - a gas produced by anaerobic microbes on Earth. Phosphine in the poisonous clouds of the "hellish" planet could appear as a result of volcanic activity or lightning strikes - but not in such quantities. Three other research teams, however, were unable to confirm their earlier findings, although two of the three teams used the same data.

The astronomers behind the discovery laterre-analyzed their data and found an error. According to the newly processed data, the phosphine signal was still picked up, but much weaker. It is noteworthy that even a small amount of phosphine in the Venusian clouds cannot be explained only by volconic activity and lightning. It is possible that mysterious chemical reactions in the atmosphere of Venus convert phosphorous compounds from eruptions and thunderstorms to phosphine. And there is still a chance that phosphine appeared as a result of the activity of foreign bacteria. Read more about this amazing discovery in the material of Ramis Ganiev.

Coronavirus vaccines

Let's hope the COVID-19 pandemic ends in the near future.

Fastest development before COVID-19 pandemicvaccines in history (mumps) have taken over four years. But already in January 2020, scientists began work on vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Less than a year later, such vaccines as Sputnik V, the vaccine of BioNTech and Pfizer were approved for use, and in December, mass vaccination of the population began in many countries of the world, including Russia. Read about how the Russian vaccine works in our material.

Read even more fascinating articles about the amazing discoveries of 2020 on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site.

Water on the moon

Water on the Moon. Photo: NASA

On October 31, NASA experts confirmed that sinceUsing the SOFIA spectrograph, he detected water trapped inside the sunlit lunar surface. Confirming that there may be more water on the moon than previously thought, NASA said the water is not confined to cold, shaded lunar spots, but is distributed over the entire lunar surface.

But for the Moon, this is an amazing indicator, somore for her sunny side. Water can indeed be stored on the shadow side of a satellite. Scientists believe that it is in a frozen state in "cold microtraps." This is the name of the shallow depressions on the surface of the Moon, in which extremely low temperatures are constantly kept in the region of -160 ℃.

Interestingly, on the sunny side, water cannotbecome solid due to solar heat. At the moment, researchers do not know exactly how water molecules are stored on the bright side of the moon. But there is an assumption that they lurk in the voids between the grains of the lunar soil. According to astrophysicist Paul Gertz, this discovery proves that scientists still know little about the lunar surface. If there is liquid even on the sunny side of the satellite, then there may be even more of it on the shadow part.

SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft launch on ISS

Crew Dragon docking with the ISS.

On the night of November 16, SpaceX for the second timeused her Crew Dragon spacecraft to send people to the International Space Station. As my author Ramis Ganiev writes in his article, “initially it was planned to launch the ship earlier, but it was postponed due to bad weather conditions. But on November 16, at 03:27 Moscow time, the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with the Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After bringing the spacecraft to a sufficient height, the first stage of the Falcon 9 separated from it and safely landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. After minor repairs it can be reused. "

Read also: Astronauts took a tour of the Crew Dragon ship and talked about a plush dinosaur

Chipping Neuralink Elon Musk

The pig's brain activity looks like this.

2020 will be remembered by many as the year in whichElon Musk practically in the literal sense of the word is chipping pigs. Back in 2016, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX opened Neuralink, the main goal of which is to create a full-fledged neural interface that connects the human brain with a computer. After four years of work, to demonstrate what the chip looks like, how well it works, and what it can be used for, Neuralink has connected the device to a pig's brain. The event was broadcast live on the official Neuralink YouTube channel and is still available for viewing.

The hottest decade in history

The temperature on our planet is increasing with eachyear, and the consequences of its change have a negative impact on the state of wildlife. In 2020, the results of numerous studies indicate that record temperatures have been recorded even in the Arctic, warming up twice as fast as the rest of the planet, creating a real ecological chaos for plants and animals. Alarming data also says that a new temperature record could be set as early as 2024.

This is interesting: Which countries will be most affected by climate change?

The most detailed map of the Universe has been compiled

Here is the everyday life of the Universe: the acceleration and decay of matter heated to extremely high temperatures, burning gas, black holes and explosions of stars.

In the middle of summer 2020, the mostdetailed ever created 3D map of the universe. The map, compiled by more than 100 astrophysicists, used data from recently discovered dim galaxies. The most detailed and extensive map of the starry sky contains about a million X-ray sources. The scattered red glow at the top and bottom of the map is mostly X-rays from hot gas far beyond the Milky Way. The white dots represent the signature of supermassive black holes. Surprisingly, about 80% of all sources on the new map are giant black holes that are located in the centers of distant galaxies.