People have always loved to observe space. Thanks to space discoveries, we were able to test global mathematical theories.
After all, what is difficult to verify in practice has become possible to experience in the stars. Below are the ten most curious and strange objects in space.
The smallest planet. There is a fine line that separates the planet from the asteroid. Pluto has recently moved from the first to the second. And in February 2013, the Kepler Observatory, 210 light years away, found a star system with three planets. One of them turned out to be the smallest ever found. The Kepler telescope itself operates from space, which allowed him to make many discoveries. The fact is that the atmosphere still interferes with ground-based instruments. In addition to many other planets, the telescope was also discovered by Kepler 37-b. This small planet is smaller than even Mercury, and its diameter is only 200 kilometers larger than the Moon. Perhaps, soon her status will also be challenged, that notorious line is too close. An interesting way of detecting candidates for exoplanets used by astronomers. They watch the star and wait for its light to fade slightly. This suggests that a certain body passed between her and us, that is, the same planet. It is quite logical that with this approach it is much easier to find large planets than small ones. Most of the known exoplanets were much larger than our Earth in size. Usually they were comparable to Jupiter. Kepler's 37-b shading effect was extremely difficult to detect, which is what made this discovery so important and impressive.
Fermi Bubbles in the Milky Way. If you look at our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in a flat image, as it is usually shown, it will appear huge. But when viewed from the side, this object is thin and clumpy. It was not possible to see the Milky Way from this side until scientists learned how to look at the galaxy differently using gamma rays and X-rays. It turned out that Fermi Bubbles literally protrude from the disk of our galaxy perpendicularly. The length of this cosmic formation is about 50 thousand light years, or half the entire diameter of the Milky Way. Where did the Fermi Bubbles come from? Even NASA cannot give an answer yet. It is likely that this could be residual radiation from supermassive black holes in the very center of the galaxy. After all, large amounts of energy involve the release of gamma radiation.
Theia. Four billion years ago, the solar system was very different than it is now. It was a dangerous place where planets were just beginning to form. Outer space was filled with many rocks and chunks of ice, leading to numerous collisions. One of them, according to most scientists, led to the appearance of the moon. In its infancy, the Earth collided with the object Theia, its size similar to Mars. These two space bodies converged at an acute angle. The fragments of that impact in Earth's orbit have fused into our present satellite. But if the collision were more direct, and the impact fell closer to the equator or the poles, the results could become much more deplorable for the forming planet - it would completely collapse.
Sloan's Great Wall. This space object is incredibly huge. It seems gigantic even in comparison with the large objects known to us, the same Sun, for example. Sloan's Great Wall is one of the largest formations in the universe. In fact, it is a cluster of galaxies that spans 1.4 billion light years. The wall represents hundreds of millions of individual galaxies, which in its general structure are connected into clusters. Such clusters were made possible by zones of different densities, which appeared as a result of the Big Bang and are now visible due to the microwave background radiation. True, some scientists believe that Sloan's Great Wall cannot be considered a single structure due to the fact that not all galaxies in it are connected by gravity.
The smallest black hole. The scariest object in space is a black hole. In computer games, they were even nicknamed the "last boss" of the universe. A black hole is a powerful object that absorbs light even moving at a speed of 300 thousand kilometers per second. Scientists have found many such terrible objects, some of which were billions of times larger than the mass of the Sun. But more recently, a tiny black hole was found, the smallest. The previous record holder was still 14 times heavier than our star. By our standards, this hole was still large. The new record holder was named IGR and it is only three times heavier than the Sun. This mass is minimal for the hole to catch the star after it dies. If such an object were even smaller, then it would gradually swell, and then began to lose its outer layers and matter.
The smallest galaxy. The volumes of galaxies are usually astounding. This is a huge number of stars that live thanks to nuclear processes and gravity. The galaxies are so bright and large that some can be seen even with the naked eye, regardless of distance. But the admiration for size prevents the understanding that galaxies can be very different. An example of this kind is Segue2. There are only about a thousand stars in this galaxy. This is extremely small, given the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way. The total energy of the entire galaxy is only 900 times that of the Sun. But our star does not stand out on a cosmic scale. The new capabilities of telescopes will help science find other crumbs like Segue2. This is very useful, because their appearance was scientifically predicted, but it was not possible to see them personally for a long time.
The largest impact crater. Since the beginning of the study of Mars, scientists were haunted by one detail - the two hemispheres of the planet were very different. According to the latest data, such a disproportion was the result of a collision-catastrophe, which forever changed the face of the planet. In the northern hemisphere, the Borealis Crater was found, which became the largest ever found in the solar system. Thanks to this place, it became known that Mars had a very turbulent past. And the crater spreads over a significant part of the planet, occupying at least 40 percent and an area with a diameter of 8500 kilometers. And the second largest known crater was also found on Mars, but its size is already four times smaller than that of the record holder. For such a crater to form on a planet, a collision had to happen with something from outside our system. It is believed that the object encountered by Mars was even larger than Pluto.
The nearest perihelion in the solar system. Mercury is by far the largest object closest to the Sun. But there are also much smaller asteroids that orbit closer to our star. The nearest point of the orbit is called perihelion. Asteroid 2000 BD19 flies incredibly close to the Sun, its orbit is the smallest. The perihelion of this object is 0.092 astronomical units (13.8 million km). There is no doubt that asteroid HD19 is very hot - the temperature there is such that zinc and other metals would simply melt. And the study of such an object is very important for science. After all, this is how you can understand how different factors can change the orbital orientation of a body in space. One of these factors is the well-known general theory of relativity, created by Albert Einstein. That is why a careful study of a near-earth object will help humanity understand how this important theory has practical application.
The oldest quasar. Some black holes have an impressive mass, which is logical given that they absorb everything that comes along the way. When astronomers discovered the object ULAS J1120 + 0641, they were extremely surprised. The mass of this quasar is two billion times that of the Sun. But it is not the volume of this black hole that releases energy into space that inspires interest, but its age. ULAS is the oldest quasar in the history of space observation. It appeared already 800 million years after the Big Bang. And this inspires respect, because this age suggests the travel of light from this object to us in 12.9 billion years. Scientists are at a loss as to why the black hole could have grown so, because at that time there was still nothing to absorb.
Lakes of Titan. As soon as the winter clouds cleared and spring came, the Cassini spacecraft was able to take excellent pictures of the lakes at the north pole of Titan. Only now, water cannot exist in such unearthly conditions, but for the emergence of liquid methane and ethane on the surface of the satellite, the temperature is just right. The spacecraft has been in Titan's orbit since 2004. But this is the first time when the clouds over the pole have scattered enough to be clearly seen and photographed. It turned out that the main lakes are hundreds of kilometers wide. The largest, the Kraken Sea, is equal in area to the Caspian Sea and the Upper Lake combined. For the Earth, the existence of a liquid medium became the basis for the emergence of life on the planet. But seas of hydrocarbon compounds are another matter. Substances in such liquids cannot dissolve as well as in water.