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Can You Get 8/8 On This October Science Test?

Have you been paying attention to what's happened in science this month?

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  1. 1. Which discovery won three scientists the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics?

    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Gravitational waves

    The 2017 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne for work that led to the discovery of ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. All three are members of the LIGO-Virgo collaboration, a team of over a thousand scientists who in February last year announced they had seen gravitational waves for the first time.

    Gravitational waves Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Frank Glowna / commons.wikimedia.org
  2. 2. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine went to scientists who figured out how our body clocks work. Which of these did they use in their experiments?

    Fruit flies
    Via Getty
    Fruit flies
    Via Getty
    Crows
    Via Getty
    Crows
    Via Getty
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Fruit flies

    The 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine went to three US scientists for their work on how our bodies' internal "clocks" are run by the chemistry in our cells. Jeffrey C Hall, Michael W Young, and Michael Rosbash discovered a gene in fruit flies that controls a protein that builds up in cells over the course of a night and dissipates in the day.

  3. 3. Three scientists won the 2017 Nobel prize in chemistry for developing a process called "cryo-electron microscopy". What does the "cryo" part of the name of the process signify?

    (Give your answer as one word.)
    Vossman / en.wikipedia.org

    (Give your answer as one word.)

    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Freezing

    Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson came up with the technique, called cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM). It allows scientists to freeze biomolecules – molecules involved in the processes of life. Once they are frozen, scientists can look in detail at the structures of these molecules and the processes they are involved in. The method has been used to analyse the Zika virus, among other applications.

  4. 4. The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere reached a record high in 2016, it was announced this month. What was the record-breaking concentration?

    303.3 parts per million
    403.3 parts per million
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    403.3 parts per million

    According to the World Meteorological Organisation: "Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event."

    403.3 parts per million
    Via WMO / public.wmo.int
  5. 5. A NASA mission around dwarf planet Ceres was extended this month and will keep going until its fuel runs out. What is the spacecraft called?

    NASA/JPL-Caltech
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Dawn

    The Dawn spacecraft should have enough fuel to last until the second half of 2018. After that it will remain in a stable orbit around Ceres indefinitely, but won't be able to communicate with Earth.

  6. 6. Speaking of dwarf planets, it was announced this month that dwarf planet Haumea has what astronomical feature?

    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A ring

    Somebody must have liked Haumea because earlier this month scientists announced that there was a ring on the potato-shaped dwarf planet.

    A ring
    Via IAA-CSIC/UHU
  7. 7. Which of these is the name of an apparent interstellar object that came flying past Earth earlier this month?

    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A/2017 U1

    It passed under Earth's orbit on October 14, sixty times further away than the moon. Astronomers aren't yet 100% whether it's an asteroid or a comet, or where it came from.

    A/2017 U1 Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via NASA/JPL-Caltech
  8. 8. Complete the sentence:

    two neutron stars collide
    two black holes collide
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Colliding neutron stars make gold

    This month physicists announced that they'd seen gravitational waves and a blast of light from colliding neutron stars for the first time. It confirms a long-suspected theory about where elements heavier than iron come from. Dr Kate Maguire, an astrophysicist at Queen's University Belfast, told journalists at a briefing: "Heavier elements, such as gold and platinum, are definitively formed in a neutron star merger. We can now say that conclusively."

    Colliding neutron stars make gold Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Dana Berry, SkyWorks Digital, Inc.

Can You Get 8/8 On This October Science Test?

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Kelly Oakes at kelly.oakes@buzzfeed.com.

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