1. Dark Matter May Be Older Than The Big Bang
Dark matter, which researchers believe make up about 80% of the universe’s mass, is one of the most elusive mysteries in modern physics. What exactly it is and how it came to be is a mystery, but a new Johns Hopkins University study now suggests that dark matter may have existed before the Big Bang.
2. Astronomers Just Discovered a New Type of Strange, Pulsing Star
A star with an interrupted death sequence could be the progenitor of a type of star, the hot subdwarf pulsators, that’s totally new to science. Astronomers have just discovered type of very small, very hot star that brightens and dims every few minutes as its outer layers try to maintain equilibrium. The newly discovered stars could be related to another type of rare and mysterious recently discovered star: the blue large-amplitude pulsator. So what’s so weird about these strange, pulsating stars?
3. So Many Previously Unknown Galaxies
Astronomers use observatories around the world and in space, discover ancient, massive, previously unknown galaxies. Such an abundance of this type of galaxy defies current models of the universe. If the galaxies were visible to humans, they would overwhelm our view of the heavens, researchers said.
4. Discovery of Record-Breaking Star Nearly as Old as The Universe
An ancient star has been found lurking in the Milky Way around 35,000 light-years away from us. The red giant star named SMSS J160540.18–144323.1 has the lowest iron levels of any star yet analysed in the galaxy. This means that it’s one of the oldest stars in the Universe and probably belongs to the second generation of stars after the Universe burst into existence 13.8 billion years ago.
5. Planet GJ 357 d: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered
What was once considered pure fantasy in movies like “Avatar,” is now looking a little more plausible. Earlier this week, NASA announced the discovery of a possible Earth-like planet, located just 31 light years away – a hop, skip and a jump in cosmic terms – that may be able to support life.
6. Martian Dust Storms Eat Mysterious Methane
Martian methane is a bit of a mystery. Some rovers and spacecraft have detected spikes of it, while others have been unable to register the molecule, which could be a sign of Martian life. If we are to believe the measurements, methane seems to suddenly appear and then quickly disappear on Mars and scientists have a hard time explaining this phenomenon.
7. The Moon Formed Earlier Than Previously Thought
By analyzing the ratios of rare radioactive elements in moon rocks collected during the Apollo missions, scientists from Germany have narrowed the date of the moon’s formation down to about 50 million years after the birth of our solar system, 150 million years earlier than previously thought.
8. Planetary Formation
Just after the planets formed more than 4.5 billion years ago, our cosmic neighborhood was a chaotic place. Waves of comets, asteroids and even proto-planets streamed toward the inner solar system, with some crashing into Earth on their way. These impacts were so violent that they melted the rocks at the planet’s surface. Now, a team led by CU Boulder geologist Stephen Mojzsis has laid out a new timeline for this violent period in our planet’s history. The new timeline of Earth’s cataclysmic past suggests the emergence of life on the early Hadean Earth could endure late accretion since at least about 4.4 billion years ago.
Processes during Universe and early solar system formations are hard to determine and many will remain mysterious. Some use science to explain them. Others believe in God. What’s your point?