Mars holds her secrets close, planetary-science experts have noted. The Red Planet is crisscrossed with the distinctive tracks of big, long-dead rivers, but we still don’t know what kind of weather fed them. Scientists aren’t sure, because their understanding of the Martian climate billions of years ago remains incomplete according to a ground-breaking 2019 study from the University of Chicago.
Another amazing week of discovery in the Cosmos, ranging from the mystery of our Universe’s beginning to a massive void detected in the Milky Way to the spooky implications of quantum-level technologies: “everything that can happen will happen, an infinite number of times.”
The discovery of black holes was the first collision of quantum gravity with general relativity. In 2019, astrophysicists at Western University found evidence for the direct formation of black holes that do not need to emerge from a star remnant. The production of black holes in the early universe, formed from massive seeds aided by gravitational fields soon after the Big Bang, provide scientists with an explanation for what appeared to be the anomaly of extremely massive black holes at a very early stage in the history of our universe.
The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 has proved to be a source of rich speculation for particle physicists. In 2019, researchers proposed that three types of very high-energy Higgs Bosons, dubbed the “Higgs Troika”, may have played a role in ridding the infant universe of most of its antimatter. The Higgs boson may also reveal insights into the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the so-called “dark sector” that comprises 95% of the Universe.
“Once an axion is detected,” astrophysicist Raymond Co at the University of Minnesota wrote in an email to The Daily Galaxy, “the implications to cosmology will be profound. For instance, signals from experiments with different search strategies will determine whether the axion is dark matter. If it is, with the measured axion properties, one can narrow down its possible cosmological origins.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Planet Nine has already been imaged in one of the large sky surveys currently underway, but, if not, it will be hard for it to hide from the Vera Rubin Observatory once it starts operations in a few years,” Caltech’s Michael Brown told The Daily Galaxy. Brown, along with Caltech’s Konstantin Batygin, presented the first evidence that there might be a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit through the outer solar system in 2016.
“Mars does like to keep its secrets,” Elizabeth Sklute at the Planetary Science Institute, observed in an email to The Daily Galaxy about packing up the first Martian rock samples as the NASA Perseverance Mission begins its sample return mission. “We sent Mossbauer, and found the oxides were nanophase, and that Mossbauer was inconclusive,” Sklute noted.