In a pace as big as the universe, there’s bound to be some weird stuff floating around. Here are some of the strangest things astronomers have come across in space since the exploration of the universe began.
Photo Credits: ESO/SOAR/NASA
El Gordo, meaning “the fat one”, is the largest cluster of galaxies in the distant universe. It contains 3,000,000,000,000,000 (3 million billion) times as much mass as the sun.
This monster galaxy cluster is located located 9.7 billion light-years from us!
Photo Credits: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
Pulsar J1311-3430 is as wide as Washington DC but weighs as much as two suns. This pulsar keeps getting bigger by feeding off its mate, a normal star. The two rotate around each other every 93 minutes. And as they do that, the pulsar’s beam keeps stripping layers away from the star, which it consumes.
The more matter the pulsar strips away from the star, the more energy it gains to spin faster but the more depleted its partner becomes. Scientists estimate that one day, nothing will be left of the star as the pulsar would have consumed every bit of it. And it will rotate with only itself.
Photo Credits: ESO/L. Calçada/P. Delorme/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)/R. Saito/VVV Consortium
Cruithne is a free-floating planetary mass that was found wandering the universe alone and dawnless. It is believed that it was kicked out from its home solar system during its formative years.
Astronomers estimate that there are billions of such castaway planets floating around space.
If you thought that earth was the only place in the universe in which water could be found, then you might just be in for a shocker. Scientists have in fact found water in many places in space. In 2011, astronomers found the largest reservoir of water ever seen in the universe.
This body of water contains 140 trillion times as much water as is found in all of earth’s oceans combined. It is located over 12 billion light years away from earth near a black hole that is 20 billion times the size of the sun! The water, however, is not in liquid from. Rather, it exists as a cloud of water vapour surrounding the black hole.
Face on Mars
In 1976, NASA’s viking 1 was snapping photos on mars and sending them back to earth when they discovered something astonishing: one of the pictures had the image of what appeared to be a humanoid face carved into a region of mars.
Although NASA tried to downplay the image as a rock formation with shadows, this didn’t stop conspiracy theorists from believing that this was a proof of aliens on mars.
Which of these objects did you find the most shocking? Tell us in the comments section below.