The Universe is full of mysteries and unexplained phenomenons. Its sheer size alone is a mystery in it of itself and lets not even talk about whats contained within it (though we are going to talk about it in this post). After all, what is the universe? According to Wikipedia, it is all of time and space and its contents. It includes planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, the smallest subatomic particles, and all matter and energy. A pretty standard answer and probably a disappointing one to many. If you search a little deeper, however, you will find that science has some mind-blowing answers to this seemingly simple mysteries.
Consider for a moment some of the theories out there: Science claims among other things that the universe could be a an illusion, a computer program, or even a bubble. Of course, the questions that derive from such claims are as many as the stars (if we knew how many start existed): Where did I come from? Where do I go? How much time do I have left? What’s the purpose of being here? All these questions may sound like queries for a philosopher to unravel, but if you are seeking a more scientific response, you might be end up with a huge question mark. These are 25 Most Puzzling Mysteries of The Universe.
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Did life originate on Earth?
We know that Earth was devoid of life when our solar system was first formed. Life form(s) then appeared on our planet, eventually evolving into the species we know today. However, whether the first lifeforms originated on Earth or elsewhere is a huge mystery that has been the subject of serious scientific debate. Scientists have pointed out that its possible for life to have arisen spontaneously when conditions on Earth were different. On the other hand, some scientists believe that complex organic molecules could have originated in space and been brought to Earth via comets or meteoroids.
What is dark matter?
The truth is we really don’t know exactly what dark matter is. However scientists have been able to pin down some of it’s characteristics. For example, we know that it is dark, meaning that it does not take the form of stars or planets that are seen. Second, it is not in the form of dark clouds of normal matter. Third, dark matter is not antimatter and finally, dark matter is not a galaxy-sized black hole.
How big is the universe?
Many great debates and even more hypotheses have taken center stage in the search for an answer to this antiquated question, but none has managed to answer it sufficiently. All we know is that the universe is big! Though the observable universe is about 13.8 billion years (give or take 21 million years), the distance to the edge of the observable universe is about 46 billion light years aways. This is because the universe is constantly expanding and getting bigger.
How common are black holes?
The concept of black holes takes us back to the 1780s, when John Michell and Pierre Simon Laplace envisioned “dark stars” whose gravity was so strong that not even light could escape. However, we still don’t know much about them. In 2014 for example, scientists discovered a galaxy with three super-massive black holes at its core, which could mean that clusters of black holes might be far more common than we originally thought.
And what happens when black holes collide?
Theory suggest that when two black holes come close enough to where they cannot escape each other’s gravity they will merge and become a bigger black hole. Such an event would be extremely violent and truth be told even when simulating this event on powerful computers, we still can’t fully understand it. A black hole merger would produce tremendous energy and send massive ripples through the space-time fabric of the universe. However, nobody has witnessed black hole collisions as of yet.