Live Science’s top stories of 2020: Writers’ choice

At Live Science we cover hundreds of science news stories each month, totalling more than one thousand over the course of a year. That’s a lot of science! So as 2020 winds down, we’re taking a look back, revisiting and spotlighting many of the year’s top stories — as we usually do. But during this exceptional year, we’d also like to showcase a few of the articles that stood out to our reporters and editors. 

For the first time at Live Science, we’ve asked our writers and editors to pick the stories that made the biggest impressions on them in 2020. From a mirror universe to X-shaped galaxies, these stories guaranteed that 2020 would be a year to remember.

A mirror universe?

Early data from the Planck collaboration maps microwaves across the sky.

(Image credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration)

Rafael Letzter, Senior Writer: My favorite science story this year wasn’t true at all. Over the summer, a bunch of tabloids misread a 2018 paper about a fascinating subject — the mysterious particles detected shooting out of the ground in Antarctica, and how they relate to an unusual theory of time — and claimed they were coming from a “mirror universe.” But their error was our gain: It gave us an opportunity to learn about this bizarre theory of time, and a real mirror universe that might be hiding in space-time behind the Big Bang. This one’s got all the hits: dark matter, unsolvable equations, a “fourth type of neutrino” and the cosmic microwave background.

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