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10 Ways We Scienced the Sh** Out of the Universe in 2015

Science is one of the only bodies of knowledge that progresses in a measurable, (hopefully) objective way. Each year we probe the void for answers to questions yet just thought of asking the year before. The questions will never stop, but at least we shrink our ignorance just a bit.

It felt like this year we got more excited about space than we have been since Curiosity landed on Mars. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft reached the dwarf planet Ceres, and then the New Horizons spacecraft made a flyby of Pluto ten years in the making. We had no idea Pluto would be as interesting, or as beautiful, as it turned out to be, and it the spacecraft is still returning data that is surprising us.

Back on Earth we learned that some fish can be warm-blooded, that human embryos can be edited, and that humans can effectively destroy the planet if we want to. The sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is currently underway, and we are the culprits. 2015 is also on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, surpassing the last record holder, 2014.

In short, we learned a lot about our home, ourselves, and our place in the universe this year. The gallery below features 10 big ways we, in the spirit of The Martian‘s Mark Watney, scienced the sh** out of the universe this year.

IMAGES: NASA, SwRI; Limpet by Susannah Anderson; 8-cell human embryo, day 3 by RWJMS IVF Program; N.O.A.A. Fisheries/Southwest Fisheries Science Center; MIT; N.O.A.A.; White Bengal tiger by Dcoetzee

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