These 2017 discoveries could be big news, if they turn out to be true | Science News


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Year in Review

These 2017 discoveries could be big news, if they turn out to be true

Potentially key findings cover a wide range of topics, from a female Viking warrior to far-flung exomoons

6:00am, December 21, 2017
Swedish grave excavation

RUMOR HAS IT  Researchers stirred up controversy this year by claiming that a skeleton discovered in a Swedish grave (excavation illustrated above) belonged to a Viking woman warrior. Other potentially big scientific discoveries also generated buzz — and disagreement — in 2017.

Some reports from 2017 hint at potentially big discoveries — if the research holds up to additional scientific scrutiny.

Under pressure

Putting the squeeze on hydrogen gas turned it into a long-elusive metal that may superconduct, Harvard University physicists claimed (SN: 2/18/17, p. 14). A diamond vise, supercold temperatures and intense pressure made the element reflective — a key property of metals. But other researchers in the field don’t buy it; one experiment with a slew of caveats isn’t enough to confirm the claim, those scientists say.

Woman warrior?

The skeleton of a 10th century Viking woman buried in full warrior regalia has scientists sparring over women’s roles in Viking society (SN: 10/14/17, p. 6)

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