Just in 2010 alone, scientists found new planets, new life forms, new archaeological sites, and even new life on earth.
To start with the outer reaches of planetology light years beyond our own world, evidence of exoplanets, bloated stars, possible worm holes and more are being investigated.
The first exoplanet expected to support life as we know it is Gliese 581 G. Twenty light years away, it has been dubbed the Goldilocks planet as it is not too hot, and not too cold. That is, Gliese 581G is not too distant, or too close to its sun to support life. Like earth, life as we know it is possible for us on the third planet from earth, but not on burning Mercury, Steamy Venus, or frozen Mars.
Also found recently were molten hot planets formed within a galaxy beyond our own. The remains of a bloated red star, part of what is termed the stellar stream, anchors at least one predicted planet. This astonishing find allows that other galaxies do form planets. This star is about 2,000 light years distant, and its orbiting gas planet is believed to be much larger than our largest gas giant, Jupiter. Also found by astronomers is what is being termed Black Flow, a substance within Black holes that may be related to worm holes. It is theorized that within Black holes, other Universes can be nested one within another. This is too mind boggling for most of us, but there are still plenty of things closer to home to contemplate.
NASA found life based on arsenic and phosphorus, in the form of a bacteria in Mono Lake, California. The discovery could lead to a life form resource we can harness to clean up arsenic toxins. It may also be the basis for a bio energy fuel source. Microbes that are able to survive extremes of heat, cold, and now poison, continue to be discovered by research in severe regions. This helps us know that life is very likely, even in those climates we know that cannot support human life.
The little Yoda Bat found recently in Papua, New Guinea has tubes in its nose, eats fruit, and looks charmingly like Yoda. They are very rare, and losing habitat. This little guy is well worth looking up on the internet so “at his photo smile you may.”
Like the now extinct Hobbit, an earlier discovered mammal that appears to possibly to have been bi-pedal and very hominid looking, new life forms from the very tiny to the large, to the long extinct to the possibly still out there are found each year as science probes deeper into previously inaccessible areas.
Fossil remains of a small, but vicious dog size (three to four) foot dinosaur raptor have been unearthed. From the teeth and skeletal structure it was determined to be carnivorous and muscular.
Included in this menagerie of strange critters is also an Australian lizard, the three toed skink, that is likely to be evolving into a species that may give live birth, as opposed to the usual reptile eggs.
There is also a fish, marine biologists called the Pink Hand fish, which has, as one might guess, pink hands. The little fish can pull itself about the sea floor rather than swimming.
Archaeologists have uncovered strange geometric shapes, some up to miles long, in the upper Amazon Basin. Giant circles, loops, squares and more are reported by the hundreds. Most explorers expect there are many more left to be found under dense jungle cover.