Now that the haze of the New Year is setting and we all start writing the dates without mistakes, all of us will sooner or later turn towards the highlights that are to mark this year in history. While of a lot of such events are likely to be spontaneous in their development, others have been in making for a while. Here are some such happenings from across topics–
1. Space and Science
The new year has already seen landmark events in space exploration, as a Chinese spacecraft successfully landed on the far side of the moon, becoming the first human-made probe to ever do so.
Ultima Thule (Source)
Additionally, on the first day of the new year, humans had their first close encounter with the most distant object ever captured by our probes, as New Horizons sent back NASA an image of the Ultima Thule.
In June, Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to become the first private carrier to take a crewed flight into orbit, and before that in May, science will undergo a subtle, but very significant change – the SI units are to be redefined as per a conference agreement.
Source- Getty Images
Climate change will continue to be a dominant focus in this area, particularly scientific efforts to study polar ice and the changes it. Additionally, a million dollar, multi-year report to asses the entire Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems will be published in May of this year, providing the most up to date and comprehensive data on how much human intervention to protect other species has worked, and where we have fallen short. And in a feat of biological-medical advancement, genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in a limited amount in Africa to see whether these can survive, and later reduce female mosquito population, who are the carriers of Malaria.
India is set to witness a considerable political shakeup as the general elections are set to take place in March and April, and till now, there are no clear projected winners.
In Europe, the dance of Brexit continues amid massive uncertainties, and in France, the ‘yellow vest’ protests continue to rage.
America has its most diverse Congress till date, but the wild uncertainty of Trump’s administration continue.
Brazil's Right Wing President Bolsonaro
Latin America too, continues to boil in political pressure as neighbouring countries refuse to recognize Venezuelan president’s second term, and Brazil awaits the consequences of its far-right president. Politics is likely to be as dynamic, challenging as divisive as it has been.
Annual sports fixtures such as the UEFA Champions League and other country-level club championships will continue this year as well, along with those of other sports. However, the year would be comparatively dry as the non-annual sporting events including T20, FIFA World Cup, and the Olympics will give this year a pass, with both the T20 and Olympics to come around in the summer of 2020, and FIFA arriving only in 2022 in Qatar, along with the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Marvel will end a major chapter and break hearts aplenty with its Avengers: Endgame.
Another massive entertainment phenomena – Game of Thrones – will air its final season this year.
Disney’s profit-turning nostalgia continues as Toy Story 4, Lion King, and episode IX of Star Wars makes in way to big screens this year.
Bollywood is likely to see more debuts of the second generation of star kids to take the baton from their parents, and hopefully, the trend of content-driven stories aided with star power will continue to surprise and delight at the box office.
The year marks 50 years of the moon landing, and given that the New Horizons is not on its way to interstellar space, it shows just how far we have come in this time.
While the Titanic II will not be operational till 2022, this year, one hundred and seven years after the original sunk, will mark the first time tourists will be able to deep dive to see the wreck caused by the notorious iceberg.
For the first time in 200 hundred years, a Japanese emperor is set to abdicate in the favour of his heir, a landmark event even if the position is today purely ceremonial.
Of course, these are only the things that we know will happen – and even these post no guarantees. The world is a more complicated, interconnected and dynamic place than it ever was before, and nature obeys no laws of humans. So there is no saying about what comes next, whether it be another big celebrity scandal, or an alien invasion.
By Niharika Rawat