WWWScientists with their genius and ingenuity have brought us from ignorance to scientific enlightenment as they pour their incessant drive and dedication into the quest of understanding the physical world, and we have come so far. Yet, our universe continues to surprise, even shock them each time they begin to become a bit comfortable with what they’ve learned; reminding me of a cartoon I once saw where one young schoolboy is frustratingly telling his friend, “Just when you think you learned everything, they throw something new at you.”
WWWAs if the universe wasn’t mind blowing enough, these recent discoveries outlined here, remind us of our infancy in it and its spectacular splendor, forming a more profound appreciation of just how little we know.
WWWAn unknown object has started sending out radio waves, and these emission are like nothing ever seen before, not fitting the pattern of supernova emissions which get brighter over weeks, then fade away over months while its spectrum continually changes—this source hasn’t changed its brightness over the course of a year, and its spectrum is steady—most astoundingly, the source is traveling four times the speed of light. This flies in the face of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which says nothing travels faster than light, making it difficult to understand how a discovery of this magnitude never made it to media headlines. It seems radio waves can travel faster than light, as one scientist, John Singleton, has proven with his device that actually does, pictured here.
WWWFrom what I’ve read, there is speculation that this signal could be coming from an intelligent source, a good way of sending a large conspicuous hello since it doesn’t conform to normal radio signals…an intriguing thought. Below is a video of the signal as seen from several telescopes.
There is an object in the universe that defies modern cosmological theory and should not exist. It is the largest structure in the known universe. About nine
billion light-years away there is a group of 73 quasars that stretches a stupendous four billion light-years across called the Large Quasar Group (LQG)—a quasar is a young and evolutionary brief stage of a forming galaxy, and is among the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe. As a comparison, the Milky Way galaxy is “only” 100,000 light-years in diameter, and the Virgo Cluster in which it resides is “only” 100,000,000 light-years wide. Current astrophysical models show that the size limit for cosmic structure should be no more than 1.2 billion light-years long.
WWWThis is a major challenge to our present understanding of the nature of the universe, as the cosmological principle assumes that the view we have from our pale blue dot of a planet, is representative of what the rest of the universe must look like. As author Eric Mack deftly expresses it, “It’s a little bit like if we suddenly discovered a 51st state that consists entirely of a single building the size of Iowa.”
WWWAstronomer Roger Clowes at the university of Central Lancashire England states, “It could mean that our mathematical description of the universe has been oversimplified, and that would represent serious difficulty and a serious increase in complexity.”
Biggest Void in Space
A billion light-years across. That’s the size of the largest hole ever seen in the universe, no galaxies, clusters, gas; empty of all matter, even dark matter. The void is 6 to 10 light-years away, and was discovered accidently by astronomer Lawrence Rudnick at the University of Minnesota, when he observed to his surprise, no Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which is measurable radiation left over from the Big Bang.
WWWThis hole is 3.5 times larger than any found before, and no one can adequately explain it, as it doesn’t seem possible that so large a volume of space could be absent of all matter.
Black Hole Fires Gas Bullets
Gas bullets that travel one quarter the speed of light, about 47,000 miles per second, are being launched from the edges of a black hole. In June 2009 NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite and the ground-based Very Long Array (VLBA) radio telescope caught this phenomenon take place in the binary system called H1743-322 about 28,000 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius.
WWWThe system has one normal sun and a black hole, and are so close together the black hole is continuously pulling in a stream of stellar matter from the sun, forming an acceleration disk millions of miles in diameter. The matter swirls inward, compressed, and heated to tens of millions of degrees, hot enough to emit X-rays, and some of the matter gets catapulted out into two gas bullets going in opposite directions. The video below depicts such an event in action.
More Knowledge More Questions
These are some of the strange events in the universe scientists are discovering and awed by, constantly giving us new insight into its workings, never ceasing to amaze. Learning is a strange equation—the more we learn, the greater our awareness of how incredibly vast the unknown is to us.
© Joe Arrigo