In the search for answers, the universe usually only gives us more questions.
And those questions are becoming as infinite as the cosmos themselves.
From to inexplicable to mounting evidence that a these stories prove that the more we learn about the universe, the less we know.
An artist’s impression of OumuamuaESO/M. Kornmesser
This year marked the first-ever confirmed interstellar object to visit our solar system.
1I/2017 U1, or “Oumuamua,” was first spotted by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope in October and it was initially mistaken for a comet. Observations from the European Space Agency confirmed it was an asteroid — and a truly bizarre one.
Measuring 1,312 feet long, it’s so narrow that it’s nearly 10 times as long as it is wide.
Oumuamua’s bizarre cigar-like shape and peculiar makeup even led a to put together a team of scientists to scan the object and make sure it wasn’t an alien spaceship.
Scientists discovered that a handful of small asteroids — called Trojans — orbiting Mars were all made up of the same material.
Spotted by the Very Large Telescope in Chile, the discovery suggests that these Trojans once belonged to the same planet.
The findings point to a lost planet that was smashed to bits long ago.
The asteroids are made of olivine, a mineral that forms in larger objects and may have “participated in the formation of Mars and perhaps its planetary neighbor, our own Earth,”
In June, scientists got a closer look at Haumea — a weird, little dwarf planet that hangs around Neptune.
Not only is Haumea shaped like an egg, but it has a huge, first-of-its-kind, ring. The findings, made possible using dozens of telescopes across the world,
Haumea is only one of five recognized dwarf planets — including Pluto and Ceres — making it the only dwarf planet to have a ring. It also boasts twin moons, which is unheard of for a dwarf planet and rotates so fast it completes a revolution every 3.9 hours.
4. The crazy weather that pummels these planets
Sunscreen and diamonds literally fall from the sky on these celestial bodies.
In October, found that on Kepler-13Ab — an exoplanet nearly three times the size of Jupiter — The discovery was
The gas giant, whose surface reaches about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, has a ton of titanium oxide — the active ingredient in sunblock— in its atmosphere. As the gas rises, the titanium oxide heats up, but cools once it reaches a high enough altitude. The chemical then crystallizes into clouds before falling down like snow on the side of the planet that is forever in the dark.
But more insane than sunscreen snowstorms that could be falling on Uranus and Neptune.
Researchers have long believed that the intense pressure on these two ice planets could create a rainfall of diamonds, and in August, researchers managed to simulate both planet’s conditions and found that it’s totally possible.
The latest study into the existence of the universe revealed that there’s no logical reason for us to be here.
The Big Bang is believed to have produced equal parts matter and antimatter — but since the only difference between these two is their opposite electrical charges, the reaction should have resulted in a violent eruption.
Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research have spent their careers trying to figure out why this didn’t happen. They’ve tried to find differences in the particles’ mass and electrical charge, among dozens of other properties, but everything comes up identical.
“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” said Christian Smorra, the study’s lead author. “An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?”