So, you want to know cool things about the Universe? Well, what can I say? I’m glad to have you here. If you’re interested in the Universe, you have to begin by knowing your address.
Let’s see where that takes us.
The Earth is your home, for now at least. Ever seen one of those trailing arms in the outer parts of the Milky Way? That’s where our Solar System is. Happily moving around the supermassive Black Hole that keeps everything in our Solar System from falling apart.
Moving up a notch, we have neighboring Galaxies. The Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, and a few others form a part of the Local Group.
Now the Galaxies are starting to look a bit small. You can’t even find our own in this mix. Now we are at the Virgo Super-cluster. Thousands of Galaxies line the black void.
As we begin to zoom out, the dots that you see are Galaxies. Going away further, we see a network of Galaxies connected in cosmic harmony. This is the last line of our cosmic address; the Observable Universe. Let’s not go beyond that, for now at least.
So now that you know where we live, I am sure you are stoked to find out some cool things about it. We are nothing but a speck of a connected dream, called Universe. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in. Here are,
15 Cool Things About The Universe You Should Know About
1. The Lunar Saga
The origins of our Moon are wrapped in violence, but the outcome was life. The Moon is presumed to have been formed about 4.51 billion years ago.
On one typical day, the Earth’s fate would be permanently changed. A Planet by the name of Theia collided with the baby Earth, according to the Giant Impact Hypotheses. The collision resulted in vast amounts of debris, that started orbiting Earth, and by the gravitational attraction, began to take shape into a heavenly body. And our Moon was formed.
What happened to Earth, you might ask? It got tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees. This collision had a massive impact. The Earth was endowed with seasons. And the relatively large Moon stabilizes Earth’s rotation around its axis and prevents it from being titled frequently to great angles, which could cause rapid climate and in shifting of the magnetic poles, thereby making Earth sterile. This makes it one of the cool things about the Universe.
Mars actually might have had this issue since its moons are tiny compared to the planet. The Moon also is important in a way that, in its absence, the human race would never get a start, jumping into the space age.
2. Ripping Off Magnetic Strips From Our Credit Cards
You see, any star with a total mass ranging from 10 and 29 solar masses, can quickly turn into a neutron star. A neutron star is essentially the collapsed core of such a star.
They are one of the smallest and densest stars in the Universe. One of these neutron stars is called a Magnetar. Such is its name because it is believed to have a strong magnetic field; in fact, one of the strongest known magnetic fields.
If a magnetar (which is about 1/80th the size of its parent star) were in a place of our Sun, its magnetic field would be strong enough to rip off the magnetic strip from our credit cards, making it one of the cool things about the Universe.
3. Stranger, Stranger In The Hall
Talking about the cool things about the Universe, we have something called a strange matter. Strange matter is a quark matter. It is called that way because it is made of strange quarks. Quarks are particles that make up the subatomic particles like neutrons and protons. It is hypothesized that strange matter occurs in the core of neutron stars.
When two neutrons stars collide, Strange matter is produced, which, when in contact with other matter, turns them into the strange matter too.
4. Stretch It Till You Break It
Our Universe has a matter that has frequently interacted with light, and on the other hand, it has dark matter. Transcending its state as a hypothesis in our minds, the percentage of dark matter in our Universe causes it to stretch.
So, the galaxies are moving farther apart from each other at every instant. This isn’t increasing any bound quantity. Think of it like blowing a balloon to see two points on the balloon move farther apart. As the universe ages and inflates, the expansion happens at a faster rate with every passing second. This is one of the cool things about the Universe.
5. Till Death, We Shan’t Part
Stars are born in groups, and they usually remain in such a formation until the end of their lives, because by then, the Universe would have expanded enough to pull them significantly away from one another. Our Sun is an exception, though. Also, it’s worth noting that our Sun is in the middle of its life, not at the end.
6. Water, Water, Everywhere
One of the cool things about the Universe is that, around 4.5 billion years ago, 2 planets in our solar system might have had liquid water on their surfaces. They are Mars and Venus. Earth in the distant future is said to become a desert planet like Mars, before turning into a flaming one like Venus.
7. Being Safe From Papa Bear
This is one of the best places to find life in our Universe is to find planets revolving in the Goldilocks zone of red dwarf stars. Red dwarf stars have an incredibly long lifespan, and it could provide enough time for an advanced civilization to evolve on suitable planets.
8. Where’s My Noodle
We’ve all heard about Black holes. A region of spacetime where the gravitational forces are so strong, no electromagnetic radiation can escape from it, generally speaking. After you’ve crossed the event horizon, there is no coming back. You are doomed.
Time and space reverse roles, and once you reach the singularity, all known rules of physics and math break down. There is a reason it is called singularity in the first place. The interesting part about getting sucked into a black hole is spaghettification.
So, after you have crossed the event horizon of the black hole, the change in gravitational forces with every change in unit distance is so large, the different portions of your body will experience an extreme difference in gravitational forces tearing you apart long before you will have ever had the chance to make it to the center. So much for loving Noodles, eh? This phenomenon is one of the cool things about the Universe.
9. Theoretically, You Are Not Reading This
Quasars are cosmic structures that occur when gas swirls around a black hole so quickly that a lot of friction causes tremendous amounts of heat to build up.
Such is the intensity that it starts to emit light. Astronomers have discovered a tiny group of 73 quasars, which are well over 6.5 times larger than the average Joe of quasars. This structure is over 4 billion light-years wide, and the funny thing is that the General Theory of Relativity hasn’t been able to explain this.
Theoretically, it shouldn’t even exist in the first place; still, it is one of the cool things in the Universe.
10. Telescope For The Cosmos
If you are a fan of looking through telescopes in the middle of the night, looking up at stars and wondering how it all came together, you might have wondered. Does the Universe have a telescope of its own? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and it is one of the cool things about the Universe.
It is called Gravitational Lensing. As the light emitted by distant Galaxies and cosmic bodies passes near massive cosmic objects, their gravitational pull bends the light, often magnifying it by a lot.
This is one of the cool things about the Universe that can be leveraged by humans in conjunction with their existing telescopes to peek further into the secrets of the Universe.
11. Mommy, I’m Invisible
The vacuum in the Universe may seem to be empty, but it is made of dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter does not interact with photons the same way normal matter does. They make up 95% of the matter in the entire Universe.
Dark matter can only be recognized by its gravitational presence, making it hard for scientists to decipher its origins and crack the mystery once and for all. That qualifies it as one of the cool things about the Universe.
12. The Fabric Of Reality
What is space? Vacuum. What is a vacuum? Nothingness. Not really. What space is, is a concept that hasn’t been fully understood by astrophysicists, but clues can be found strewn all over the night sky, making it one of the cool things about the Universe.
Space can twist, space can bend, it can even ripple. When two black holes merge, they send out incredibly strong gravitational waves. The medium of transmission of these waves is the bare fabric of spacetime itself. The amplitude of the waves is the fluctuating tensor values in Minkowski spacetime.
13. There Are Worms In My Backyard
Ever wondered what lies beyond three dimensions? Of course, four aspects! In a huge 4-dimensional universe, our 3-dimensional world is nothing but a fluffy world that can be bent and stretched.
Hypothetically, if some 4-dimensional being took two parts of 3D Universe and connected them using points of strong gravitational attraction, they would form a short cut in spacetime. It was connecting two far away points that would otherwise have taken a long time to travel, making it one of the cool things in the Universe, which is incredibly popular in movies.
14. Remnants of Creation
Remember, old televisions at your grandparents’ house? Especially the static. The fuzzy black and white dots that danced to an unknown tune. Did you know that 1% of the static is made up of the Cosmic Background Radiation?
The CMB dates back to about 400,000 years after the Big Bang. At that time, its temperature was 273 million degrees above absolute zero. Any atoms that were present in that time were instantaneously broken apart into smaller particles – photons, and electrons.
The radiation from the photons was scattered off the electrons. These photons are barely affected by the hydrogen in the Universe, and they travel in a straight line. Thus, it is the leftover radiation from the Big Bang and shows its presence even today, making it one of the cool things about the Universe.
15. The Great Wall Of Universe
The Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall is the largest known structure in the Universe. It measures approximately 10 billion light-years in length. This is made up of a large group of galaxies clustered together by gravity. It is a super-cluster that was first discovered in 2013. The existence of this super-cluster challenges the principle of cosmology, and baffles scientists to this day, and is one of the cool things in the Universe.
The Universe is beyond imagination, wilder than dreams. Haunting and pleasing at the same time. If you feel small after reading all this, don’t worry. We all have our place in this vast cosmic arena. As enveloping darkness engulfs the Universe pushing it towards its ultimate demise, you and I, we are connected; with the Cosmos. Every single node of this network is essential to maintain this incredible stellar dance that has pushed life to grow and thrive.
The cosmic dance, the rhythm of the stars, is like an organism. It comes into this world, has a predetermined fate, follows its journey and ultimately, dies gloriously in the cosmic graveyard, turning into dust, Stardust. The genesis of all of us. We are stardust; we are them. They are a part of us, as much as we are of them. These organisms, speak in cosmic tones and have great stories to tell if you are willing to look up the night sky and listen closely.
They move on a time scale hugely different from us. Their lives are calculated in millions of years, and though no human has wholly understood this cosmic dance, we can learn, and respect our cosmic godfathers for giving us life. Being humbled with his knowledge, we must take a stand in this vast enveloping cosmic arena, and find our place, in harmony, with the Cosmos.