Dr. Ian O’Neill is the Senior Space Science Producer for DiscoveryNews.com, the top online destination for awe-inspiring science news. With a Ph.D in Solar Physics and a Masters in Astrophysics, Dr. O’Neill has a passion for investigating the workings of our universe and debunking doomsday scenarios with hard science. Discovery News will unveil their top space stories of 2015 — from the truly amazing to the puzzlingly strange, including:
* Alien Megastructure? NASA detected a strange object around “Tabby’s Star,” and some astronomers are wondering if it’s a sign of an alien civilization building huge solar collectors around their host star. Could this be proof that we’re not alone? Scientists are taking a closer look in the hope of hearing an artificial signal.
* Space & Sci-Fi Movies – “The Martian” starring Matt Damon has been heating up the box office but is the plot grounded in science? 2015’s #1 movie was “Jurassic World” but would it be possible to re-animate species based on their DNA? And what is Dr. O’Neill looking forward to most in 2016, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or “Star Trek Beyond?”
* Hello Pluto! In July, we finally got a close-up look at Pluto, which provided new revelations about its surface, including ice flows, possible tectonics, and a system of moons straight out of science fiction. And all this has only rekindled the public debate over whether or not Pluto is a planet…
* Water on Mars! Yes, NASA already knew that there’s frozen water in the Red Planet’s ice caps, but this year NASA confirmed that LIQUID water can exist on the Red Planet’s surface, gushing from slopes, creating dark channels that can be viewed from space. Does this mean life can be sustained on Mars? What happens if you drink it?