The weirdest things about the universe
From nuclear pasta to ghost galaxies, to the most peculiar star and moon, the universe is full of what for many are still secrets.
The universe is strange and largely unknown to the average person at the moment. However, scientists have been fortunate enough to discover a long list of strange and seemingly unbelievable phenomena throughout the galaxy through their research and experiments.
Fast radio bursts
They are one of the strangest phenomena in the universe. Each ultra-bright burst lasts only a few thousandths of a second and appears to come from a place far beyond our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
Since their initial discovery in 2007, their cause has been a mystery. Based on calculations of known frequency bands and an understanding of the activity of the universe, scientists believe that nearly a thousand are produced each day.
This is the hardest and most resistant material in the universe and is formed from the material left over when a neutron star explodes. To give you an idea, according to scientists’ calculations, to break this compound you would need to apply 10 billion times the force you use to break steel.
Haumea and its rings
This planet is curious in its own right. It is “dwarf,” has a strange elongated shape, two moons, and a day that lasts only 4 hours, making Haumea the fastest spinning planet in the solar system. In 2017, scientists discovered extremely thin rings orbiting it to complete the picture.
Does dark matter exist
It is scientifically accepted that dark matter, an unknown substance that accounts for 85% of the matter in the universe, exists and is everywhere. However, the discovery in 2018 of a galaxy that barely seemed to contain dark matter has spurred those who, paradoxically, argue that dark matter doesn’t exist at all.
The star KIC 846285, or Tabby’s star, has a striking peculiarity: it flickers and fades for a few days before returning to its usual brightness in a completely unpredictable pattern. Theories include comet swarms, fragments of destroyed planets, dust clouds, or even an “alien megastructure” engulfing the star to drain its resources.
The title of strangest moon goes to Hyperion, Saturn’s satellite, an irregular, spongy rock full of craters. NASA’s Cassini space probe, which visited the Saturn system between 2004 and 2017, also discovered that Hyperion was charged with a “particle beam” of static electricity flowing through space.
The first neutrino
The high-energy neutrino that hit Earth on Sept. 22, 2017, was not, in and of itself, all that extraordinary. Physicists at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica see neutrinos of similar energy levels at least once a month.
Astronomers found that it had been hurled at Earth 4 billion years ago by a flaming blazar, a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy that was consuming the surrounding material.
DGSAT I is an ultra diffuse galaxy (UDG), which means that it is as large as a conventional galaxy, but its stars are scattered so thinly that it is nearly invisible.
DGSAT I disproves the theories that all previously studied ultra diffuse galaxies were found in galaxy clusters, which were thought to have been “normal” galaxies in the past but over time became a spongy mess due to violent phenomena within the cluster.
But DGSAT I is a rare exception, because it is an ultra-diffuse galaxy found far from a cluster, so it may give a clearer picture of its past.
Expansion of the universe
Massive objects bend light enough that they can distort the image of things behind them. When researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to detect a quasar from the early universe, they used it to estimate the rate of expansion of the universe and found that it is expanding faster today than it was then.
Infrared flux from space
Neutron stars are extremely dense objects that form after the death of a star. Normally, they emit radio waves or high-energy radiation such as X-rays. However, in September 2018, astronomers discovered a long stream of infrared light from a neutron star 800 light-years from Earth, something never before observed.
The researchers concluded that a disk of dust surrounding the neutron star could be generating the signal, but the final explanation has yet to be found.
Brown Dwarf Planet
Throughout the galaxy there are planets that have been flung away from their parent star by gravitational forces. One particular one in this section is SIMP J01365663+0933473 or “brown dwarf”, a planet 200 light years away whose magnetic field is 200 times stronger than that of Jupiter. This is strong enough to generate intermittent auroras in its atmosphere, which can be seen with radio telescopes.