There have been many amazing space discoveries over the years. Many people look at the Apollo-era space missions as the high point of space exploration so far. It’s true that those were exciting and inspiring times, but there have been many great discoveries in the years since the Apollo landings. Read on to learn about some significant space discoveries in the post-Apollo landings era.
The Presence of Life on the Ocean Floor
In the past, it was thought that living organisms couldn’t survive on the ocean floor. It was assumed that the depths would be too crushing for life to survive. In 1977, living organisms were discovered on the ocean floor. They were surrounding a hydrothermal vent and were found to be capable of subsisting on the chemical energy and heat coming from the interior of the earth.
This is significant because it shows that life can survive in harsh environments with no sunlight. Life being found in such a cold and dark place opens up new possibilities in the search for alien life.
The First Confirmed Black Hole
It took a long time, but scientists finally confirmed the existence of black holes. Back in 1971, there was a strong emission of x-rays that was detected coming from the Cygnus constellation. It was thought that these x-rays were coming from a black hole, but it wouldn’t be confirmed until thirty years later. It goes to show that many huge scientific discoveries take a lot of time and require careful observation.
The Discovery of the First Planets Outside of This Solar System
It took quite some time, but in 1992, scientists discovered the first planets that are located outside of this solar system. Two extrasolar planets were found orbiting a dead start in the Virgo constellation. Three years later, an exoplanet that was orbiting a still-burning star was discovered. Since then, thousands of planets and planetary systems have been confirmed by scientists.
The Discovery of an Ocean on Jupiter’s Moon
Jupiter’s moon (Europa) has long been an interesting topic for scientists. In 1995, NASA’s Galileo mission discovered evidence of liquid water concealed on Europa beneath a layer of ice. The images captured by NASA showed that it’s likely that the ice layer is floating on top of an ocean that could potentially be twice as large as the ocean on Earth.
This was a huge scientific discovery. Water is a crucial element of the search for extraterrestrial life. Scientists want to further research Europa to see what they might find.
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