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These 2016 stories could be really big — if they're true

Some scientific findings this year made a big splash but require more evidence

By
10:00am, December 23, 2016
illustration of Planet 9

BIG IF TRUE  If it does exist, Planet 9 probably resides somewhere between 500 and 600 times Earth’s distance from the sun. Its discovery would be big news in science.

These findings would have rocked the scientific world, if only the evidence had been more convincing.

New Planet 9 clues

A giant planet lurking at the outskirts of the solar system could explain the odd orbits of far-flung hunks of icy debris (SN: 2/20/16, p. 6). If the planet exists, its average distance from the sun would be between 500 and 600 times Earth’s distance (SN: 7/23/16, p. 7).

Signs of ancient life

Mounds of minerals discovered in Greenland appear to have been deposited by clusters of microbes 3.7 billion years ago. If so, these stromatolites represent the oldest fossilized evidence of life on Earth (SN: 10/1

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