7 mysteries about the universe that have baffled scientists

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The cosmos contains countless unsolved mysteries. Is there extraterrestrial life? What exactly is the universe? And Why does it exist?

Scientists are currently grappling with some of the biggest unresolved questions.

Here are 10 that they’re currently working on the answers to:

1. Dark matter

The distribution of dark matter in the Universe as suggested by a numerical simulation. A new study suggests that the effects of dark matter may actually be the result of a discovered form of gravity.
Herschel / ESA

Planets, stars, galaxies, and everything else we can see make up less than 5% of the total universe. Scientists believe that 26.8% is a substance they call “dark matter”.

This matter does not interact with light or visible matter, but everything moves at its gravitational rhythm.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), “although considered invisible, neither emitting nor absorbing light, dark matter can be detected thanks to its gravitational influence on the movements and appearance of other objects in the sky. the Universe, like stars or galaxies. “

And based on this circumstantial evidence, “Astronomers believe dark matter is the dominant type of matter in the Universe – but it remains obscure,” ESA explains.

2. Dark energy

Centaurus A captured by the Dark EnergyCamera
This stunning image shows the Centaur A galaxy in detail, revealing tendrils of gas and dust surrounding it. The tendrils harbor regions of star formation and are believed to have been triggered by a collision between two galaxies 100 million years ago.
CTIO / NOIRLab / DOE / NSF / AURA / M.Soraisam / NOIRLab

So what about the remaining 68% of the universe? Cosmologists think of it as “dark energy”.

If dark matter seems to unite galaxies, dark energy wants to pull everything apart. However, no one really knows what dark matter or energy is made of.

According to the US Space Agency, “we know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the expansion of the universe. Other than that, it’s a complete mystery. But it’s a mystery. important.”

3. Quantum entanglement

07_21_Quantique_01
Quantum entanglement (the idea that pairs of particles separated even over great distances are inextricably linked) is the key to the development of secure communication channels of tomorrow.
David Parker / Scientific photo library

Albert Einstein once called quantum entanglement “a frightening action at a distance”.

It is the phenomenon by which two particles in totally different parts of the universe can be linked to each other, reproducing the behavior of their partner.

For particles to be connected over such distances, they must send signals that travel faster than the speed of light, which the known rules of physics deem impossible.

Objects are only supposed to be affected by their surroundings, so the idea of ​​a particle being affected by something on the other side of the universe is baffling.

4. What’s inside black holes?

Black hole fusion
An illustration showing a merger between two black holes. Researchers may have explained where massive black holes more than 40 times the size of the sun come from.
Nasa

Black holes are regions of space in which the force of gravity is so powerful that everything nearby is attracted, even light cannot escape its attraction.

Scientists predict that there are millions of black holes in our galaxy, but no one knows what’s inside. At its center, many suspect a singularity – a region of zero size and infinite density.

Understanding what’s inside could help explain quantum gravity. While physicists can predict the influence of gravitational sized objects, when it comes to tiny particles (quanta), it’s a mystery.

5. What caused the Big Bang?

The Big Bang is the most widely accepted theory for the origin of the universe.

From an almost infinitely dense state, a huge expansion expanded the space like a balloon.

“Time, space and matter all started with the Big Bang,” says the European Space Agency. “In a fraction of a second, the Universe went from smaller than a single atom to larger than a galaxy. And it continued to grow at a fantastic rate. It continues to expand today.”

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists were able to travel back in time to shortly before the event, around 13.8 billion years ago, because light from the earlier universe was taking so many time to reach Earth.

So what caused this Big Bang? Nobody knows.

6. Space roar

In 2006, when scientists started looking for distant signals in the universe using an instrument attached to a huge balloon sent into space, they detected a mysterious roar.

The instrument built by NASA was the Absolute radiometer for cosmology, astrophysics and diffuse emissions (ARCADE) and it was able to pick up radio waves from distant stars and a stronger signal than cosmologists expected.

The strong signal caused great perplexity and scientists still do not know where the roar is coming from.

7. Cosmic rays

Cosmic rays are particles of high energy atoms that rain down on Earth from outer space at the speed of light. Cosmic rays are considered harmless because Earth’s atmosphere protects us from them, but they have been blamed for electronic problems in satellites and other machines.

These high-energy particles can disrupt electronic data, causing the system to crash and scientists are trying to find a solution.

Discovered in 1912, cosmic rays remain a mystery and we still do not know their origin.


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