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.
Fruit fliesVia GettyCrowsVia Getty
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.
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.
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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.
Somebody must have liked Haumea because earlier this month scientists announced that there was a ring on the potato-shaped dwarf planet.
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.
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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."
Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
Contact Kelly Oakes at email@example.com.
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