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5 Strangest Space Structures Discovered

Space

Some of the strangest sights in space have been revealed in the last year thanks to the cooperative efforts of American, European, and Chinese space agencies. Check out the top five we’ve found!

1. See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon

Chinese astronomers have confirmed that the Yutu 2 lunar rover has located a mysterious object on the surface of the dark side of the moon as it slowly trundles across the Von Kármán crater. Yutu 2 spotted the apparently cube-like object on the far horizon north and about 260 feet from its present location in November. “Our Space,” a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) referred to the object as a “mystery hut” (神秘小屋/shenmi xiaowu), but this a placeholder name rather than an accurate description according to Space.com

(Image credit: CNSA/Our Space)

3. An Insanely Rare Planet, In An Insanely Rare System

A star system known as “Orion’s Nose” is more properly GW Orionis or GW Ori is about 1,300 light-years from Earth, and it’s home to one of the most unique exoplanets ever discovered. This particular planet orbits THREE SUNS at the same time. Trinary star systems are pretty rare, but the typical arrangement is that two of the three stars will orbit a larger primary. But in GW Orionis a binary set of two stars orbit each other while a third orbits widely around both, and scientists suspect a young planet is wildly hurled about by ALL THREE STARS. A series of three dust rings also swirl about the young star system and it was a ‘wobble’ in the rings that gave away the young world.
Esquire wrote,

“Evidence of this wobble was imaged by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array telescope (ALMA) in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

According to the researchers, if confirmed, this would be the first time a planet is seen orbiting three stars. Finding a triple-star system is rare enough, but a planet orbiting all three stars is close to a miracle.

“Our simulations show that the gravitational pull from the triple stars alone cannot explain the observed large misalignment [in the rings],” said Nienke van der Marel, co-author of a separate study published on May 21 in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.”

(Image credit: ESO/L. Calçada, Exeter/Kraus et al.)

4. A Black Hole Cannon Belching Helix-Shaped Energy Jets

A Black hole at the center of the M87 (Messier 87) galaxy about 55 million years from the Earth, and the first, and only, black hole ever photographed has been recorded firing a massive stream of material and energy in a helix-like spiral. The black hole which is 6.5 Billion times more massive then our sun is the source of what astronomers call a “galactic jet”, it’s basically a galaxy-sized electromagnetic cannon.
Space.com explains,
“Using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, astronomers found that the jet is channeled by a corkscrew-shaped magnetic field that stretches nearly 3,300 light-years from M87’s central black hole. This is the longest magnetic field yet detected in a galactic jet, according to a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which operates the VLA.
“By making high-quality VLA images at several different radio wavelengths of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87), we were able to reveal the 3-dimensional structure of the magnetic field in this jet for the first time,” Alice Pasetto, lead author of the study and an astronomer at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said in the statement. “The material in this jet traces a double helix, similar to the structure of DNA.”

(Image credit: Pasetto et al., Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

5. A 500-light-year-wide Space “Chasm” in our Galaxy

For decades, astronomers believed that two molecular clusters of gas were situated side-by-side stretching between the constellations Taurus and Perseus, bridging the two in a region where new stars are formed from the swirling dust clouds. But new three-dimensional maps from the European Space Agency’s Gaia Observatory have done what science does to old ideas when confronted by new facts and thrown the notion in the trash.
It turns out that instead of some lovers embracing between two gaseous anomalies bridging hundreds of light-years, what we’re seeing is actually an optical illusion created by our forced perspective relative to both objects. In fact, the two gaseous clouds are “separated by an enormous, empty orb where neither gas nor dust nor stars can find purchase.” according to LiveScience.
They explained,

“Dubbed the Perseus-Taurus Supershell, this newly detected chasm stretches about 500 light-years wide, according to a study published Sept. 22 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters — or roughly 115 times the distance between Earth and the nearest alien sun, Proxima Centauri. While hundreds of young stars have already formed around the edges of the bubble, the great, spherical emptiness within points to one obvious culprit, the authors wrote: a catastrophic supernova explosion.

“Either one supernova went off at the core of this bubble and pushed gas outward forming what we now call the ‘Perseus-Taurus Supershell,’, or a series of supernovae occurring over millions of years created it over time,” lead study author Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in a statement.”

(Image credit: Alyssa Goodman/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian)

 

 

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Written by Staff Editor

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