The universe loves to surprise and confuse us. Sometimes discoveries that are of great benefit to science, along with it bring us a cloud of mystery and make us fight each other in an attempt to explain these mysteries.
1- The mysterious magnetic field of the Moon :
The Moon has been magnetically inert (has no magnetic field of its own) for thousands of years, but a recent study has confirmed that this was not always the case. About four billion years ago, the Moon’s molten inner core began to rotate against the motion of the lunar mantle, similar to our Earth’s dynamo, and Earth’s natural satellite acquired a powerful magnetic shield. Of course, this was supposed to be a much weaker version of Earth’s shield, due to its lack of mass.
But to the surprise of scientists, our little moon could generate a much more powerful magnetic field than our home planet. No one knows why such a puny body would exhibit the most powerful magnetic activity, and all explanations boil down to “we don’t know” or “magic.” This mystery shows that one of Earth’s most studied solar system partners has a number of unknown variables. The Moon seems to have used some exotic method to produce an incredible magnetic field. And it lasted for quite some time, probably due to the constant meteorite bombardment that fueled the Moon’s magnetism.
The magnetic field disappeared about 3.8 to 4 billion years ago, but research into why this happened has yet to be deployed. Most interestingly, the Moon’s core is still somewhat liquid. So even though Earth’s satellite is, you could say, within reach, there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.
2- Galaxies 13 billion years old:
The young universe was a living hell – a churning, opaque mousse of electrons and protons. It took nearly half a billion years for this baby to cool enough for neutrons to form. After that, the landscape of stars and galaxies unfolded.
A recent ultra-deep survey by the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, supported by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, revealed seven of the youngest galaxies in the Universe. At 13 billion light-years away, they appear as barely visible blobs of light. In fact, they only became visible after Subaru focused on a small portion of the sky and observed it for 100 hours.
Born just 700 million years after the Big Bang, these galaxies are some of the oldest things in the universe we could ever observe. These types of galaxies are characterized by intense hydrogen excitation and a lack of heavy elements (aside from small assemblages of lithium), as they have not yet formed in supernova explosions.
These galaxies, the Lyman-alpha emitters (LAEs), appeared suddenly and for reasons that are not entirely clear. LAE galaxies are prolific producers of stars, and their advanced age provides insight into the evolution of the universe. But astronomers aren’t sure if these galaxies captured by Subaru formed recently or if they existed before, obscured by cosmic gas.
3-Titan’s Magic Island :
Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, may be the most intriguing member of the solar system. It is essentially a primordial Earth, with its own atmosphere, liquid bodies, and even geological activity.
In 2013, the orbiting Cassini probe discovered an entirely new piece of land that mysteriously emerged from Titan’s second-largest sea, Ligeria Mare. Soon after, the “magic image” disappeared just as mysteriously into a translucent sea of methane and ethane at -200 degrees Celsius. Then it reappeared, with much more terrestrial mass, during another radar scan of Titan.
The ephemeral terrestrial mass supports the hypothesis that Titan’s alien oceans and seas are dynamic components of the active environment rather than static features. However, astronomers have difficulty explaining the physical processes behind the ephemeral Earth mass. In addition, its size has increased from 50 to 100 kilometers since its first appearance.
4- Asteroid with rings :
All of our gas giants are surrounded by rings, although most of these rings are thin clumps of debris compared to Saturn’s massive set of rings. For the first time, and quite unexpectedly, astronomers have discovered rings around a body much smaller than a gas giant. The asteroid Chariklo, just 250 kilometers in diameter, boasts a ring system.
Hariclo, despite its rather imposing size, looks like an unremarkable piece of rock. But astronomers have noticed that it has an anomalous light signature. When it obscured a distant star, an unexpected amount of light reached our telescopes. It turns out that Chariklo has two cosmic necklaces at once. They contain a lot of frozen water; the larger of the rings is 7 kilometers wide and the smaller one is half that width.
And although some asteroids even have “moons” – small satellites nearby – Chariklo is unique because the rings around asteroids have never been observed before. The origin of the rings is still unclear, though they are thought to have formed in the impact. Either they are the remains of a foreign body that Hariclo itself destroyed, or parts of Hariclo itself that remained after the crash.
5- Non-ultraviolet production:
We pride ourselves on finding different kinds of balance in the cosmos. One such balance is the correlation between ultraviolet light and hydrogen, both of which coexist in well-defined proportions.
A recent study, however, showed significant underproduction of ultraviolet photons from known sources – a 400% discrepancy from expected values. The paper’s lead author, Juna Kollmeyer, likens the finding to walking into a blindingly bright room but finding only a few dim bulbs that can only produce so much light.
There are two known processes that produce ultraviolet radiation – bad young stars and massive black holes – but there is actually more of this radiation that these two sources can produce. Astronomers can’t explain the overproduction of ultraviolet radiation and are forced to admit that “at least one thing we thought we knew about the modern universe doesn’t work.” This is sad, since we had a “well-understood” balance of ultraviolet and hydrogen. As in many other cases in the past, astronomers had to go back to calculations.
It is also very interesting that this underproduction of ultraviolet is only evident at local distances. Looking farther out in space and time, astronomers find that their predictions hold up quite well. Perhaps the missing radiation could be the result of exotic and undiscovered processes. Including dark matter decay.
6- Strange X-rays :
Strange X-ray pulses flow from the cores of the Andromeda and Perseus galaxies. And the spectrum of signals (light signature) does not match any of the known particles or atoms. So astronomers are trying to drool over the upcoming scientific discovery, as this phenomenon could be the first evidence of dark matter.
Dark matter – the elusive, invisible matter that makes up most of the mass of the universe – could consist of sterile neutrons, which may or may not exist, depending on different points of view. Presumably, these particles produce X-rays in their death throes, and these emissions could explain the explosions from the centers of the galaxies mentioned.
Furthermore, since the emission comes from the cores of galaxies, it corresponds to regions with high concentrations of dark matter clusters. We may be on the cusp of an important discovery.
7- A six-tailed asteroid:
Hubble showed an interesting asteroid that thinks it is a comet. While a comet is easily recognized by its bright tail plumage, asteroids usually have no such characteristics: they contain little ice and are composed primarily of heavy elements and rock. The discovery of an asteroid with six tails is therefore an incredible surprise.
Asteroid P/2013 P5 is unique in having six spitting jets. It spreads material into space like a cosmic sprinkler.
It is unclear why this object behaves and looks the way it does. There is a belief that P5 is spinning so fast that it is accidentally killing itself. Its small gravity does not match its rotational speed, so its rapid rotation is tearing it apart. Pressure from solar radiation scatters this debris, creating dazzling comet-like tails.
However, astronomers know that P5 is the remnant of an earlier collision. The tails most likely do not contain any ice at all, as frozen water is unlikely to be found in an object that exploded at 800 degrees Celsius earlier.
8- Distant monster HD 106906b :
The planet HD 106906b raises many questions. This monster is 11 times more massive than Jupiter and its giant orbit challenges all our knowledge of planet formation. HD’s distance from its parent star is 650 AU. (1 a. u. is the distance from Earth to the Sun).
Neptune, our closest planet, also orbits the Sun at a distance of 30 AU, but HD is much farther from its star. Astronomers are trying to find an explanation for HD’s existence for all its mass and long orbit.
The forces responsible for creating planets no longer work at such gigantic distances, so the possibility arises that HD was created in the collapse of a ring of debris. But HD is too massive for such a thing. Oh, and the primary disks of raw material from which planets emerge simply can’t contain enough “meat” to create such a monster.
9- Storms on Uranus :
Uranus took astronomers by surprise. The second most distant member of our solar family would normally keep calm, but for some reason the planet is currently full of storms.
Uranus was expected to have a glorious storm in 2007, when the planet completed half of its 82-year orbit and entered the equinox. However, the stormy weather should have gradually faded as Uranus continues its journey around the Sun. But this has not happened.
Without an internal heat source, the green giant relies on solar emissions to fuel its storms. But astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, recently detected powerful activity in the planet’s upper region, which is covered by a layer of frozen methane. Some of these storms were as large as Earth and glowed so brightly that even amateur astronomers could detect the planet’s glow.
It is incomprehensible how the storms remain so healthy without the support of the sun. The northern hemisphere has sunk into shadow, but continues to show powerful thunderstorm activity. It is possible that the eddies deep in the planet’s atmosphere are caused by processes similar to those observed on the more turbulent Jupiter.
10- KIC 2856960, a system of three stars:
The Kepler space observatory is usually busy searching for new planets, but it has spent four years of its life following three gravitationally bound stars – KIC 2856960. KIC is a three-star mill, with a third celestial body orbiting two dwarf stars. Nothing special, just three stars.
Kepler observed four daily dimmings in the light curve when the binary dwarfs crossed every six hours. He also saw another small dimming every 204 days, which was caused by the third star. You would think that four years of observation would be enough time to know the ICC well. Astronomers thought so too. But after all the calculations, the data became meaningless in the context of the behavior of the observed stars. They could not even calculate the masses of the stars, even though it is quite simple.
By now, the stellar trinity has led astronomers down a blind alley. There is one possible answer, which fits the numbers but is illogical. Moreover, it is almost unbelievable. The KIC system may be hiding a fourth star. However, its orbit must perfectly mimic that of the third star, creating the illusion of a single object.