10 Things We Still Don’t Know About Space

10 Things We Still Don’t Know About Space 10 The Origins Of The Moon Isn’t it weird? We’re getting ready to colonize Mars but scientists are still unsure of how the Moon formed

Well, it’s not like they have no clue, there are a few hypotheses but, none of them can be taken as 100% accurate So, the debate is open and new studies keep coming, presenting different, contrasting scenarios The most accredited theory is that the Moon was formed after a Mars-sized body collided with Earth several billion years ago But here's the problem with the theory If this was true, the Moon should share its genetic structure with the impactor rather than from Earth

However, according to the lunar samples we've been collecting for decades, the satellite's composition is very much similar to the Earth's Which is why, in 2017, Israeli researchers Raluca Rufu, Oded Aharonson, and Hagai Perets proposed instead that the Moon came from a dozen of Earth's lesser impacts with objects ranging from 1% to 10% of its mass This would basically make the Moon an orbiting disk of debris Still, no matter how interesting it is, this remains a THEORY And so the mystery goes on

9 Why The Universe Exists Have you ever wondered why do you, or the humankind in general, or – why not – the entire universe exist? If so you’re not alone First of all because, according to psychology, questioning your existence happens to everyone, sooner or later And second, there are scientists who are actually working on the MATTER – you’ll get the joke in a sec – trying to give a definitive answer All we know so far is that the whole universe started with an explosion

– Basic, right? We learn that at school – However, it’s not so basic after all According to the standard model, the explosion happens with a clash of equal amounts of matter and antimatter What the antimatter is it’s still a mystery itself but, to simplify, let’s say that it refers to subatomic particles that have properties opposite normal subatomic particles – the matter Theoretically, an equal amount of matter and antimatter would annihilate each other, ending into nothingness

Which makes no sense because we exist, the UNIVERSE exists So, how’s it possible? That’s exactly what researchers have been trying to find The answer is still unknown, but they’re working on that 8 Does The Multiverse Exist? If you can cope with the fact that our whole existence literally makes no sense, now ask yourself another – less existential – question: we’ve established that our Universe exists, does the Multiverse exist too? The multiverse is a cosmos in which there are multiple – well infinite – universes and according to recent studies, it is a plausible option

In 2017, the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society published a paper on the so-called Cold Spot, a cool patch of space seen in the radiation produced by the formation of the Universe more than 13 billion years ago The spot has been puzzling astronomers and cosmologists for years The hypothesis of the research is that the Cold Spot is an optical illusion produced by a lack of intervening galaxies and, perhaps it was caused by a collision between our universe and another parallel one Put it like that, the Cold Spot should be taken as proof of the existence of the Multiverse However, nothing is certain and one single hypothesis isn’t enough, according to the scientific method

Which is why many among the scientific community, including Paul Steinhardt – one of the original architects of the multiverse theory – are still sceptical about it 7 Where Is Planet 9? Pluto has not been a part of the 9 planets of the solar system since 2006 However, researchers worldwide are in pursuit of a missing Planet 9 Why are they so sure there’s a ninth planet? Good question

The truth is that they’re not a hundred percent sure BUT the presence of a ninth planet would actually explain the orbital trajectories of out-there celestial bodies Let’s take, for example, Sedna, a planetoid discovered in 2003 Sedna has roughly half the diameter of Pluto and is located about 85 astronomical units from the Sun – about THREE times as far as Neptune In 11,000 years the dwarf planet has swung from 76 astronomical units to over 900 and then back again Which adds a further question: How can such a massive object reach such an extended orbit without getting completely ejected from the solar system altogether? The most likely answer is that there's a massive gravitational body out there – let’s say Planet 9 – pulling things out of whack

But if so, how come we can’t find such a massive planet? One reason could be we won’t have the telescopic technology to detect it yet 6 The Fermi Paradox The problem here is that it’s not like we don’t know what the Fermi Paradox is, but rather how we can’t seem to overcome it What’s the Fermi Paradox? Well, let me put it this wayit’s highly probable that across the whole universe – or multiverse – we’re not alone If that’s the case, then, why haven’t we heard from any other life? This is the Fermi Paradox, which takes the name after physicist Enrico Fermi, who first posed the question in 1950 Since then, scientists have been working on the answer Some believe that the silence is the product of the Great Filter, an evolutionary wall impermeable to most life

This means that we're not receiving communication because we’re either the most or least advanced civilization Others, such as SETI – Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – suggest that most of the universe is colonized and communicating, but WE are stuck in a desolate area – like when you visit your grandma in the countryside and there’s no reception However, the most supported theory is that, if others out there are transmitting signals, we’re probably just listening wrong, like we don’t have the right technology or understanding of the universe yet 5 The Big Crunch You may have guessed by the name the Big Crunch theory has something to do with the Big Bang

We can say the Big Crunch is based on a specular process As everything started, so it should end: with a massive explosion According to the theory, all the mass in the universe will eventually give way to gravity and be drawn together into a smaller space, then merge into a dense and hot point and, ultimately, get wiped out – how fun Still, not all experts are on board with the theory

In fact, some argue that such a hypothesis doesn’t quite make sense with what we currently know about history Especially, in regards to ongoing studies and discoveries on Dark Energy According to some in the scientific community, over the past few billion years, the dark energy has kept pushing the universe outwards Therefore, if the universe keeps expanding, how exactly will it collapse on itself? Fair point Still, we can’t rule the theory out because, just like we don’t know how the Big Bang started yet, we might find the answer, after all

4 Mysterious Radio Signals Remember one of the answers to the Fermi Paradox could be we’re unable to understand the signals we receive? Well, that’s exactly what could be happening right now Last February, the scientific community revealed that an object 500 million light-years away appeared to be transmitting signals every 16 days The discovery has been made while in the process of the collaboration of two types of research: the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment and the Fast Radio Burst Project Over the course of four days, the signal would release a burst or two each hour

Then, it would go silent only to come back after 12 days The signal is in FRB – Fast Radio Burst – bursts of radio waves in space that last just a millisecond The problem? Astronomers can’t figure out what causes them and why they occur in an interval of 16 days They have been able to trace back the signal to its home galaxy, but can't go further than that, for now Researches continue hoping that by tracing the exact origin of the bursts, the mystery will be solved

3 How Many Exoplanets Are There? Some of you may not know or remember what exoplanets are, so, before deepening further, let’s recap briefly According to both NASA and ESA, an exoplanet is, by definition, a planet outside our own Solar System To date, we were able to map and confirm more than 4000 exoplanets Even if part of different systems, they may have analogies with our planets

Some are massive like Jupiter for example, others are rocky or icy just like ours Others may differ slightly, so massive planets can orbit much closer to their host star than ours do to the Sun Then, many simply do not have analogues in our Solar System The possibilities are endless, which is why the pursuit of exoplanets is an ongoing process Therefore there’s no way to tell exactly how many exoplanets are out there

As far as we know, the Milky Way could contain around 100 THOUSAND MILLION exoplanets They are extremely important because, among them, there may be planets with the right conditions to host life as we know it That’s why it is so important to keep going To date, more than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered and are considered "confirmed" However, there are thousands of other "candidate" exoplanet detections that require further observations in order to say for sure whether or not the exoplanet is real

2 Space’s Chicken And Egg Dilemma Yes, it looks like scientists have their own causality dilemma Which came first: the galaxy or the black hole? First of all, we – mere mortals – have to understand why the two are connected So, the general consensus is that things start off with the galaxy The reason you can find a black hole is that the gas and dust in it will go into the black hole and feed it to grow its mass

However, research from astronomers examining radio-frequency pictures that provide data about early galaxies suggests the black holes may have gotten an early start Back in 2012, an international team of astrophysicists discovered a galaxy with a black hole with a mass that is t 100 times larger than expected based on the typical galaxies And this, according to the research team, leads to believe that black holes formed first and then, somehow, they formed a stellar galaxy around them Still, according to other scientists – and NASA too – such assumptions can’t be taken for certain Therefore, the question remains one of the great puzzles of our universe

1 We Don’t Know Our Own Biology You made it till the end of the video to find out that the most important thing to advance in space discovery is take a step back and look at yourself Why? What does human biology have to do with space research? Actually, a lot! From roles in the health and nutrition of humans during spaceflight, through to the question of life on other worlds, microbiology is fundamental to the exploration of the cosmos Therefore, a LARGE focus of space research has been focusing on studying our microbial world The same teams are also studying what makes us differ from “alien life”

I mean, space exploration has been focusing on looking for forms of life as WE know it Maybe, the reason we still haven’t found what we’re looking for is that we haven’t looked outside of the box Now, microbiology studies are paying off There’s recent evidence that conditions different from the one we know to support microbial life exist elsewhere Not only on Mars but on Saturn's icy moon and Enceladus, whose hydrothermal activity and the production of molecular hydrogen and carbon dioxide may sustain methanogenic microbial life

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