Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Jan 15 2017, 2:50am CST | by , Updated: Jan 15 2017, 2:56am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Top Science Stories This Week
KIC 8462852 star. Credit: SentientDevelopments.com
 

Scientists Suggest New Theory for Moon’s Formation

Moon may have formed from several tiny moons, a new study reveals. The idea is challenging the most prevalent theory of moon’s origin, which suggests that one giant collision between Earth and a Mars-sized body led to the formation of the moon. If that’s the case, researchers expect that moon should have made mostly from the fragments of impacting body rather than the debris from Earth.

According to new theory, a series of cosmic collisions created multiple tiny moons or moonlets that morphed into one big moon we see today. Researchers estimate that about 20 collisions were required to create the moon which continued to add mini-moons until reaching its current size.

Missing Element inside the Earth’s core has been Identified 

Scientists already know that Earth’s core is made up of about 85 percent of iron and 10 percent of nickel but the remaining 5 percent is still unknown.

A Japanese team of researchers that has been searching for this missing link for decades believe they have now found the final element hiding in the Earth’s core. By recreating the high temperatures and pressure found in the Earth’s interior, researchers suggest that the missing element is most likely silicon. 

Silicon has been considered a possibility before due to its ability of bonding well with other metals but it’s the first time that it has been tested thoroughly. The finding could help researchers to better understand the formation of the world.

Planet Nine may have come from Outside the Solar System

Researchers are still debating the original location of Planet Nine – a hypothetical large planet that exists in the outer edges of our solar system.

Using computer simulations, researchers suggest that the Planet Nine may be a rogue planet that was once floating in the universe and got snatched into our solar system by the gravitational pull of the sun. 

Rogue planets are free-floating planets that are not bound to a particular star or have been ejected from the planetary system in which they born. This rogue planet is likely wandering close enough to our sun to be captured by its gravitational pull.

Bumblebee Species Declared Endangered in US for the First Time

For the first time, a bumblebee species in the contiguous United States has been declared endangered. 

The rusty-patched bumblebee, known for the distinctive reddish patch on its body, was once abundant across 48 states of US. But now it is limited to only few small, scattered communities in 13 states. The population of rusty patched bumblebee has declined by 87 percent over the past 20 years. Previously, seven species of yellow-faced bees were also listed as endangered but they all belonged to the region of Hawaii. 

A combination of factors like habitat loss, diseases, pesticides and climate change is pushing the bees towards extinction.

Scientists Provide a New Explanation for ‘Alien Megastructure’

KIC 8462852 hit the headlines back in October 2015, when a team of astronomers had found that the star is going through dimming intervals over the past few years. The discovery led to a flurry of explanation from large asteroid to debris disc to even alien megastructure.

But a team of researchers have provided another explanation for the star which appears to be a logical one.  Researchers suggest that this strange and sudden drop in brightness could be the result of a planet the star consumed at some point of its life. The remains of the planet that are moving in front of the star are causing these periodic dips.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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