Science Fiction Getting Real

Where Minsk reflects on some of the scientific discoveries made in 2019.

Gennady Borisov, an amateur astronomer from Crimea, discovered a new comet, later it was named after him – Borisov. The uniqueness of this space object has to do with the fact that it reached the solar system from another star system. Not all the scientists were of the same opinion but in late December 2019, the scientific world received evidence and Borisov was recognized as the first identified interstellar object spotted in the near-Earth space.

In 2019, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft returned from an expedition with information about the age of Saturn’s rings. Those turned out to be much younger than previously thought. According to the “Science” magazine article where the decoded data were presented, their age can range from 10 to 100 million years old – approximately the same as that of Earth dinosaurs.

In Italy, scientists unveil a prosthesis with a sense of touch. Through a series of miniature sensors the computer detects information and brings it from artificial fingers to the human brain. The only inconvenience is caused by the fact that one has to wear a backpack with special equipment.

Supersonic aircraft was invented in Boston by “Spike Aerospace” employees. The aircraft capacity is 18 people, and one of its peculiar features is the absence of windows – those will be substituted with special screens that will show the images of what happens overboard. The flight duration will be twice as short!

American researchers from Cornell University (USA) have developed a model for controlling traffic flows and intersections to increase the throughput of city streets of the future, reduce traffic jams and minimize accidents – the first of its kind. The system will be built into cars, and vehicles will be able to communicate with one another, offering opportunities for more efficient movement.

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