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Six scientific discoveries in 2021 that stunned researchers essentially the most

The oldest supermassive black hole

More than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only 670 million years old, this black hole was born. With a mass of 1.6 billion suns, a newly discovered supermassive black hole J0313-1806 it is twice as heavy and 20 million years older than the previous record holder for the oldest known black hole.

This ancient supermassive black hole is so large that it has put astronomers in the dilemma of whether supermassive black holes formed first

Lowest measured gravity

According to Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, any object that has mass also produces gravity, even if it is barely noticeable. Scientists have now measured the gravity of a golden ball two millimeters in diameter and weighing about 90 milligrams – the smallest object to which gravitational force has ever been measured.

The tiny ball proved that gravity behaves as expected, even in the case of a very small mass. Researchers, on the other hand, want to examine how gravity behaves on an even lower, quantum scale, where different physical rules can be applied.

The oldest animal to have thumbs

The 160-million-year-old pterosaur, nicknamed “Monkeydactyl”, was the earliest known animal to have thumbs.

The flying reptile, whose fossil remains were found in northeastern China, officially named Kunpengopterus antipolikatus, probably used its thumbs and movable joints to climb through tree canopies to retrieve prey, scientists predict.

A black hole swallowing a star

Scientists have for the first time managed to see how a black hole swallows a neutron star, ie the remains of a dead supergiant star. Astronomers discovered this event by measuring the gravitational waves that came from collisions of two objects that reached the Earth.

All previously identified sources of these waves in space-time consisted of the collision of two similar objects, such as two neutron stars or two black holes.

The oldest animal DNA found

The tooth of a Siberian mammoth that lived more than a million years ago broke the previous record of the oldest animal DNA ever discovered, which was held by a 700,000-year-old fossilized horse.

Scientists assume that this discovery represents the maximum time for which DNA can survive. The genes of this mammoth lead to the conclusion that it belonged to a hitherto unknown species.

The highest percentage

A mysterious group of hominids known as the Denisovs became extinct long ago, but not without a trace. The indigenous tribe of Aita Magbukon in the Philippines have about five percent of the DNA of Denisovans in their DNA, genetic analysis has revealed. That is the highest level of Denisov origin which was found anywhere in the world.

Researchers are using these results to track the movement of Denisovans through Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, along with genetic traces from other groups that carry Denis’s DNA.

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