The Universe is a mind-boggling place. In fact, it’s probably the craziest place you’ve ever studied. The collection of all things that exist in space is known as the Universe. It consists of stars, black holes, galaxies, clouds of gas, and many other fascinating things.
The Universe is astounding. The universe is so vast and ever-expanding, it is becoming extremely difficult to know the full extent of its complexities and mysteries. Everything discovered so far makes up only 4% of its existence. We have only scratched at the surface of its immensity, but whenever there are new discoveries and images, they are awe-inspiring and baffling in equal measure. Therefore, we have gathered some of the most surprising and interesting facts about the universe.
1. The Universe was born
The Universe has not existed forever. It was apparently born approx. 13.82 billion years ago after all matter, time, energy, and space erupted into a titanic fireball. The fireball began scattering and, out of the cooling debris galaxies and other matters were formed. This, in a nutshell, is known as Big Bang theory. The idea that the universe popped into existence out of nothing is unbelievable.Big Bang theory. The idea that the universe popped into existence out of nothing is unbelievable.
2. It was hot when it was young
The most widely accepted cosmological model is that of the Big Bang Theory. Although, strictly speaking, no one knows exactly what ‘banged’, but we know from exploration that the Universe was infinitely hot at birth, cooling down as it expanded. 3. It will be cold when it grows old Studies show that the Universe is expanding at an accelerated rate. The data shows that the Universe is cooling making us believe that the most probable ending for our universe is that of a Big Freeze. That is, it will be devoid of any usable heat (energy) in the future.
4. The Universe is Old
The journey of the universe began with the Big Bang and it is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old. Astronomers concluded this figure by studying the oldest objects within the universe.
5. The Universe Is Getting Bigger
Astronomer Edwin Hubble made the revolutionary discovery in the 1920s. He concluded the universe is not static, but rather it is expanding. Hubble Space Telescope studies of distant supernovas also found that, a long time ago, the universe was expanding at a much slower pace than today. Current statistics estimate the Universe spans a diameter of 150 billion light-years.
6. The Universe Could Be Flat
Based on Einstein’s Theory, the universe may have three shapes: open, closed, and flat. The Earth is not flat but the Universe is flat was confirmed by WMAP on the CMBR with very high accuracy and precision.
7. There May Be More Universes
The idea that we live in one of a ‘multiverse’, comes from a theory called Eternal Inflation, which suggests that shortly after the Big Bang, time-space scattered and expanded at different rates in different places. Other theories propose the existence of bubble or parallel universes, other dimensions, and ‘braneworlds’.
8. The Universe Is Filled With Invisible Stuff
Different wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum have allowed us to peek into the cosmos and analyze a huge portion of it. Sadly, an even larger portion cannot be seen with these frequencies. In fact, the stars, galaxies, and planets that can be detected make up only 4 percent of the universe.
9. The Universe has no center
There is no such thing as the Universe’s center Nope, Earth is not the center of the Universe. The Universe has no center as the universe is ever-expanding and the galaxies are getting further away from each other. Thus, it has no definite center.
10. Space is completely silent.
Outer space is silent, eerily silent. Space is a vacuum, a dark, silent vacuum. Because sound waves require some sort of medium like atmosphere to travel through and be heard. Astronauts use radio waves to sent and receive messages to stay in communication while in space.
11. There is a supermassive black hole at the heart of every galaxy
Galaxies are illuminated by the black holes at their center. It is said it has the ability to swallow anything it comes in contact with. There still remains some of the biggest unsolved questions about the black hole in astrophysics.
12. We appear to be alone
There are approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the Universe. Yet in all this immensity earth is the only place where life exists. Despite research on the existence of other living organisms outside earth, none have been successful. In fact, there is a good argument that if such life exists, we should see signs of them, or they should have come here already.
13. The stars we see are from the past
The stars we see in the night sky are far away from us, so far that the star has taken a long period to travel across space to visible our eyes. This means whenever we are star gazing, we are actually experiencing how they have looked in the past.
14. You can watch the Big Bang on your television
No, not talking about the sitcom, though you can catch that on television too. Surprisingly, we can use an old-fashioned TV to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon. When the television is not catching signal you can see the black and white fuzz and clacking white noise, around 1% of this interference mimics the big bang.
15. We are all made of stardust
Almost every element on Earth was created during the burning process of the core of a star. Therefore, our bodies are made from stardust as well. NASA has been studying stardust extensively, and you can read more about their research on their official website.
16. The Hubble telescope allows us to look back billions of years into the past
The Hubble Telescope developed by NASA enables us to look towards very distant objects in the universe. This remarkable piece of engineering has been able to create some incredible images, one of which is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field that displays a part of the sky in immense detail; it contains more than 10,000 objects, most of them young galaxies, and acts as a portal back in time.
17. The first-ever black hole photographed is 3 million times the size of Earth
The first-ever image of a black hole revealed in April 2019 shows a halo of dust and gas. It is estimated to be 310 million trillion miles further from the earth. The photo was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope and was captured using the algorithm of programmer Katie Bowman.
18. There is Floating water in Space
Astronomers have discovered a massive cloud of water vapor somewhere around 10 billion light-years away from earth. It is the largest discovery of water sources ever found.
19. The moon is drifting away from Earth
Do you know the moon is drifting away from Earth’s gravity by 3.8 cm every year? Scientists now believe that the Moon will move out of Earth’s gravitational field eventually. However, don’t worry this won’t happen for the coming next billions of years.
20. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is the most distant human-made object from Earth
In 1977, The Voyager Program launched two spacecraft, namely Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Their mission is to explore the planets and moons of the outer Solar System over several decades and are now continuing to travel through the heliosphere at the edge of our Solar System and interstellar space. In 2012, Voyager 1 became the first-ever man-made object to leave the Solar System and is now the furthest man-made object from Earth, currently 124.34 Astronomical Units away i.e. around 1.15581251×1010 miles away. Voyager 1 also captured the most distant photograph of Earth. Scientists hope to learn more about this region from its mission.
Did you get goosebumps?? Wasn’t it fascinating? While we thought everything is within our reach, yet we seem to have little knowledge on hindsight.