Top 10 science stories of 2017 – Technology & Science

In 2017, did you catch the solar eclipse, the first video footage of ruby sea dragons and the news about the first asteroid from outside our solar system? Here’s a look back at some of the most popular science stories of the past year on CBC News.

Ruby sea dragon

In January, scientists spotted an animal they had never seen before in the wild – a ruby sea dragon. Using a remote underwater camera, they shot some footage of two of the rare seahorse-like marine fish swimming off the coast of southern Australia. Previously, the animal had only ever been known from four dead specimens collected since 1919, and was only recognized as a new species in 2015.

7 Earth-like planets orbiting nearby star

In February, NASA announced the discovery of what looks like the best place so far where life as we know it may exist outside our solar system. Seven Earth-sized planets, all of which could contain water, were found orbiting a small star 39 light-years away called TRAPPIST-1.

Scientists are hoping to use the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2019, to search the planets’ atmospheres for methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen or ozone, which could indicate whether these are truly habitable planets.

The TRAPPIST-1 star has seven Earth-size planets orbiting it. This artist’s concept appeared on the cover of the journal Nature on February 23, 2017, announcing new results about the system. Any of these planets could have liquid water on them. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

First North Americans?

In April, scientists said they had found evidence that humans were in North America more than 100,000 years earlier than previously believed. Stone tools and mastodon bones found in California in 1992 were analyzed using uranium dating and found to have been from 130,000 years ago.

The discovery was controversial, as there had been consensus among paleontologists and anthropologists that humans came to North America about 15,000 years ago.

Unbroken mastodon ribs and vertebrae, including one vertebra with a large well-preserved neural spine. (San Diego Natural History Museum)

Ancient baby bird in amber

In June, scientists announced they had found the remains of a prehistoric baby bird preserved in a 99-million-year-old piece of amber in Myanmar, complete with scales, feathers and claws. It even has insects and mites trapped with it.

Canadian scientists say the bird from the Age of Dinosaurs met its untimely end and ended up…

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