10 Strange Things In Space
You saw Gravity and Interstellar and now you think you know all about space? Here’s a list of things present in outer space that are stranger than fiction.
10. Hypervelocity stars
We’ve been taught in schools that there’s no such thing as shooting stars but just meteors entering the earth. But actually, there literally are shooting stars. When a binary system is consumed by a black hole, one of the partners is destroyed and the other one is ejected out with a speed as high as 2 million miles per hour. Recently, 6 such stars were detected speeding through the universe which are most likely to have been ejected from a black hole at the heart of Milky Way galaxy. These stars are termed as hypervelocity stars, given their speed and are at least four times large than our sun. To find hypervelocity stars, scientists need to notice a couple of stars moving in an odd way among millions of other stars, which is quite similar to finding a needle in a haystack. But once they are tracked at the right time, the exact process of how stars are made could be known.
9. The Bipolar Planet
Gliese 581 c is a relatively near planet to us which is at least five times larger than earth. It showed signs of water which means the planet could potentially harbor life. The planet revolves around a red dwarf star and is far closer to its sun than the earth is to it’s. Due to which it faces extreme tidal locking. Since one face of the planet is always facing the star it is extremely hot and the other half is extremely cold. The star facing side is hot enough to burn your face off and the other one, cold enough to freeze you to death. Gliese 581 c is believed to have a center belt, roughly in the middle of the cold and hot sides of the planet which has relatively moderate climate and could be habitable. Even if that is true, living on this planet would be extremely challenging.
8. The Castor System
The Castor System has a luminosity 52.4 times more than our sun. Why is it so? Because the Castor system is basically three binary systems orbiting around two stars. The sun passes closest to Castor on or near July 14. Castor is the second brightest star in the Gemini constellation and around 48.9 light years away from us. The main twin stars, Castor and Pollux give the constellation Gemini (meaning twins in Latin) its name. These stars are so close to each other yet have a sharp contrast in colors. The two brightest of the six, Castor A and Castor B, revolve around one another over a period of about 445 years. Both Castor A and Castor B are orbited by Castor C. This beautiful system of 6 stars is best noticed in the northern sky in spring. Even a small microscope of just 60x magnification can clearly differentiate the twin stars.
7. Space Raspberries and Rum
There’s a distinct cloud in the center of our galaxy named Sagittarius B which smells like rum and raspberries. Before enthusiasts get carried away and start packing for berry drunken space voyages, allow us to shatter your expectations, the dust cloud also contains toxic substances like propyl cyanide. The ethyl formate provides the scent of rum and the flavor of raspberries to the cloud. However, there are 4000 more molecules present in the cloud, 25000 light years away from earth. It contains enough ethyl alcohol to fill 400 trillion trillion pints of beer. To finish that much alcohol, every person on earth would have to drink 300,000 pints each day—for one billion years.
6. A Planet of Burning Ice
Let’s go back to Gliese 581c solar system once more. Gliese 436B is a planet in the same solar system which completes one full orbit around its parent star in 2 days and 15.5 hours. This short orbital period indicates that the planet is located very close to its star. The weirdest thing is that the planet is mostly made of ice but at a temperature of 439 degree Celsius. It’s quite simply a burning ice cube. The reason behind this is the large amount of water present between the core and the crust. The gravity of the planet keeps the water molecules so densely packed that they are not able to evaporate. Hence, the ice remains intact, despite the burning hot temperature. Bipolar issues, burning ice, the Gliese solar system is just full of wonders.
5. The Diamond Planet
’55 Cancri e’ is known as Super Earth because its radius is twice as large search and mass is 8 times greater than earth. Previous studies of this planet suggested that it might actually be covered with oozing high-pressure liquid-like gases seeping out from its rocks. But this idea was based on the assumption that 55 Cancri e had a similar chemical makeup as Earth. According to recent studies, what makes this 40 light years distant from earth planet distinct is that the carbon to oxygen ratio on it is greater than 1. One-third of the planet is said to be purely diamond, while the rest is composed of graphite and other silicates which on the earth is water and oxygen instead.
4. The Himiko Cloud
Dubbed the ‘Giant Mystery Blob Discovered Near Dawn of Time,’ the Himiko Cloud dates back to 800 million years after the Big Bang. This might as well be the oldest thing in the outer space known to cosmologists, yet. What’s even amazing is the size of this blob which is almost half as that of the Milky Way Galaxy. If studied properly, the blob could give us information on how galaxies are formed. Maybe someday due to this very information, we could be able to build our own new galaxy. It was almost overlooked among 207 other galaxy candidates. Scientists initially thought that it was just dust covering a part of the galaxy but let’s all be thankful that they chose to find out what the Himiko Cloud really was.
3. The Universe’s Largest Water Reservoir
It’s not a well or a lake in between the mountains of some exoplanet, it’s a floating reservoir bigger than 140 trillion earth oceans. The reservoir is near a quasar. Quasars are the most powerful known entities in space, with this particular one pumping out 1,000 trillion times more energy than our sun, and 65,000 times the whole of the Milky Way. What makes this mid space floating reservoir even more remarkable is that its find was dated 12 billion light years away, only 1.6 billion light years farther from the Big Bang. How this much amount of water stayed put in the outer space for almost all of eternity is a mystery.
2. The Universe’s Largest Electrical Current
A massive black hole is believed to be the source of universe’s biggest electric current of 10^18 amps or roughly one trillion lightning bolts. Magnetic fields of this lack hole are generating this current that is so strong that it lights up the matter jet and helps to drive it way outward. The jet reaches out some 150,000 light years into interstellar space-farther than the estimated diameter of the Milky Way. Even our whole galaxy is smaller than this bolt of light just imagine how irrelevant the earth might be in comparison to the whole universe.
1. The LQG
Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that has an enormous stretch. The cluster of seventy-four quasars actually breaks the rules of standard astrophysics, since the maximum size of any cosmic structure should be only 1.2 billion light years across. Even if we travel at the speed of light, it would take 4 billion years to go one way across the whole length of this majestic group of quasars. Scientists have no idea how the LQG was formed as according to their theories such an enormous quasar group should not be in existence at all as it contradicts the Cosmological principle which is accepted since Einstein. Such entities hint towards one thing that we still have a lot of space mysteries to explore.