7 Strangest Objects in the Universe
7 Strangest Objects in the Universe
There is no doubt that the universe is strange. Just look outside and you’ll see all sorts of bizarre, self-reproducing flora and fauna hovering over this blue thin but hard shell-covered rock ball covered with a thin layer of gas.
However, our planet represents a small part of these strange phenomena hidden in the cosmos, and astronomers are faced with new surprises every day. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 7 strangest objects in space.
A Living Fossil Galaxy
DGSAT I, the Ultradiffuse Galaxy (UDG), is an ultra-wide spread galaxy.
That is, it is as large as a galaxy like the Milky Way, but its stars are so sparse that it is almost invisible. But when scientists saw the ghostly DGSAT 1 in 2016, they realized it was solitary, quite unlike other UDGs typically found in groups.
Its properties show that the faint object formed at a very different time in the universe, only about 1 billion years before the Big Bang, making it a living fossil.
Mysterious Radio Signals
Since 2007, researchers have been receiving ultra-strong, ultra-bright radio signals that last only a few milliseconds. These mysterious flashes are called fast radio bursts (FRBs), and they seem to come from billions of light-years away.
Recently, scientists managed to capture an FRB that flashes six times in a row; this is the second signal ever seen and it looks like it could help them solve this mystery.
Ring of Haumea
The dwarf planet Haumea, orbiting beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt, is already unusual. It has a strangely elongated shape, two moons, and a day that lasts only 4 hours.
This makes it the fastest rotating massive object in the solar system. And in 2017, Haumea became an even more interesting planet when astronomers watched it pass in front of a star and noticed extremely thin rings swirling around it (possibly the result of a collision in the distant past).
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The Strangest Star
Astronomer Tabetha Boyajian of Louisiana State University and her colleagues were stunned when they first saw the star known as KIC 846285.
Nicknamed Tabby’s star, the brightness of the star fell at irregular intervals and odd lengths, sometimes by as much as 22 percent. It gave rise to different theories, of course, including the possibility of an alien megastructure, but today most researchers believe the star is surrounded by an anomalous dust ring causing it to darken.
Infrared Streaming From Space
Neutron stars are extremely dense objects that form after the death of a normal star. They normally emit higher-energy radiation such as radio waves or X-rays, but in September 2018 astronomers found a long stream of infrared light coming from a neutron star 800 light-years from Earth, something that had never been observed before.
Researchers have suggested that this disk of dust surrounding the neutron star could produce the signal, but the final meaning has yet to be found.
A Very Electric Hyperion
The title of the strangest satellite in the solar system can go to many celestial bodies.
Like Jupiter’s extreme volcanic Io, Neptune’s swarming Triton, but one of the strangest looking ones is Saturn’s Hyperion, an irregular pumice-like rock riddled with numerous craters.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which visited the Saturn system between 2004 and 2017, also found that Hyperion was charged with a “particle beam” of static electricity flowing into space.
A Guide to a Neutrino
The single, high-energy neutrino that hit Earth on September 22, 2017 wasn’t all that extraordinary in itself. Physicists at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica already see neutrinos with similar energy levels at least once a month. But this neutrino was special because it was the first neutrino to reach us with enough information about its source for astronomers to point telescopes in the direction it came from.
Then physicists realized that 4 billion years ago, it was launched to Earth by a bright blazar (a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy that consumes surrounding material).