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Top 10 Bizarre Things in Space

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

From miniature black holes to distortions in the fabric of space-time, from galaxies that are eating each other to matter that can neither be seen nor detected directly…space is full of many strange things. And here are ten of the strangest, courtesy of MSN and Space.com:

10. Quasars

071012 Quasars Hmed 2P.Hmedium

These bright beacons shine to us from the edges of the visible universe and are reminders to scientists of our universe’s chaotic infancy. Quasars release more energy than hundreds of galaxies combined. The general consensus is that they are monstrous black holes in the hearts of distant galaxies. This image is of quasar 3C 273, photographed in 1979.

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9. Vacuum Energy

071012 Vacuumeenergy Hmed 5P.Hmedium

Quantum physics tells us that contrary to appearances, empty space is a bubbling brew of “virtual” subatomic particles that are constantly being created and destroyed. The fleeting particles endow every cubic centimeter of space with a certain energy that, according to general relativity, produces an anti-gravitational force that pushes space apart. Nobody knows what’s really causing the accelerated expansion of the universe, however.


8. Anti-matter

071012 Antimatter Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Like Superman’s alter-ego, Bizzaro, the particles making up normal matter also have opposite versions of themselves. An electron has a negative charge, for example, but its anti-matter equivalent, the positron, is positive. Matter and anti-matter annihilate each other when they collide and their mass is converted into pure energy by Einstein’s equation E=mc2. Some futuristic spacecraft designs incorporate anti-matter engines.

7. Mini Black Holes

071012 Miniblackholes Hmed 2P.Hmedium

If a radical new “braneworld” theory of gravity is correct, then scattered throughout our solar system are thousands of tiny black holes, each about the size of an atomic nucleus. Unlike their larger brethren, these mini-black holes are primordial leftovers from the Big Bang and affect space-time differently because of their close association with a fifth dimension.


6. Cosmic Microwave Background

071012 Cosmicmicrowavebg Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Also known as the CMB, this radiation is a primordial leftover from the Big Bang that birthed the universe. It was first detected during the 1960s as a radio noise that seemed to emanate from everywhere in space. The CMB is regarded as one of the best pieces of evidence for the theoretical Big Bang. Recent precise measurements by the WMAP project place the CMB temperature at -455 degrees Fahrenheit (-270 Celsius).

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5. Dark Matter

071012 Darkmatter Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Scientists think it makes up the bulk of matter in the universe, but it can neither be seen nor detected directly using current technologies. Candidates range from light-weight neutrinos to invisible black holes. Some scientists question whether dark matter is even real, and suggest that the mysteries it was conjured to solve could be explained by a better understanding of gravity.


4. Exoplanets

071012 Exoplanets Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Until about the early 1990s, the only known planets in the universe were the familiar ones in our solar system. Astronomers have since identified more than 190 extrasolar planets (as of June 2006). They range from gargantuan gas worlds whose masses are just shy of being stars to small, rocky ones orbiting dim, red dwarfs. Searches for a second Earth, however, have so far turned up empty. Astronomers generally believe that better technology is likely to eventually reveal several worlds similar to our own.

3. Gravity Waves

071012 Gravitywaves Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Gravity waves are distortions in the fabric of space-time predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The waves travel at the speed of light, but they are so weak that scientists expect to detect only those created during colossal cosmic events, such as black hole mergers like the one shown above. LIGO and LISA are two detectors designed to spot the elusive waves.


2. Galactic Cannibalism

071012 Galacticcannibalism Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Like life on Earth, galaxies can “eat” each other and evolve over time. The Milky Way’s neighbor, Andromeda, is currently dining on one of its satellites. More than a dozen star clusters are scattered throughout Andromeda, the cosmic remains of past meals. The image above is from a simulation of Andromeda and our galaxy colliding, an event that will take place in about 3 billion years.

1. Neutrinos

071012 Neutrinos Hmed 2P.Hmedium

Neutrinos are electrically neutral, virtually mass-less elementary particles that can pass through miles of lead unhindered. Some are passing through your body as you read this. These “phantom” particles are produced in the inner fires of burning, healthy stars as well as in the supernova explosions of dying stars. Detectors are being embedded underground, beneath the sea, or into a large chunk of ice as part of IceCube, a neutrino-detecting project.

Sources: Space.com

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Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • drb0b

    Great list, could easily have been a top 50 or a top 100. A new and, possibly, earth-like exo-planet, Gliese 581 c, was discovered in April this year, you may like to add it to the list, details are at http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/press-rel/pr-2007/pr-22-07.html

  • ElSeed

    cool list! :-)

    but,no “eye of god”? JK

  • no borg cube? :)

  • drb0b: wow great – thanks for the heads-up

    ElSeed: it is on another list :)

    Juggz: I am afraid to ask, but what is a bog cube?

  • Rey

    It’s a hive-like assimilating race from Star Trek. :D

  • Rey: haha I should have known :)

  • Rey

    I forgot…Wish you included one of the final phases of the star- the crystallisation. here’s a link of the said phase: BPM 37093

  • Jamie: Not a trekkie i see. The Borg is a race from Star Trek, they fly around in a big ship that is a cube…so what i meant by that is the Borg Spaceship.

  • Rey – thanks for the link – that is pretty awesome – a great big diamond floating in space! Excellent addition.

  • Juggz: I liked the early ones in re-run – but I never really got in to the latter ones. I preferred V (though it was shortlived).

  • Yah V was an awesome series. One of my favorite childhood memories was watching that when it was on.

  • Rey

    Glad to have been of service.

    I’m a big fan of lists (or anything that contains info or trivia), and I got addicted with your site. hehehe. Keep it up!

  • Rey

    Oh a list suggestion here (While I still feel the posting energy through me :D): How about the best episodes from twilight zone/outer limits?

    hehehe.

    Here’s another addition to your fantastic list:

    Gliese 581 c, the most Earth-like exoplanet discovered so far
    Pulsars
    Nebulas- not bizarre, but they’re amazing to look at

  • Juggz: me too.

    Rey: Glad you like it :) I have no plans to stop! Great idea for a list – I loved both of those shows. In fact, I wonder if they are all on youtube. I love the nebula photos – did you check out the Top 10 beautiful images of our solar system and 10 Incredible Images of Space?

  • Rey

    Yeah. I actually downloaded a copy of that Hubble Space Telescope shot of the universe. Absolutely breathtaking!

    I think there are some twilight zone episodes on youtube. But I’m not so sure with the outer limits. =/

  • Rey: ah cool – it is an amazing image. I think I might be spending the evening on youtube!

  • there a link to this hubble pic?

  • Juggz: yeah – go to the incredible images and click the image on item 6 – in fact it works on all images. That will show you the full sized version which you can then save by right clicking.

  • Nothing on quarks? Awesome list though! I used to be so interested in quantum and astrophysics, before I actually took a physics class…But it’s all still very interesting to me. So many mysteries left in the universe. If you think about it too long, then its a bit scary, isn’t it? I agree with drb0b, this easily could have been a top 50 or 100, and I would have read all of them. =)

  • Bob Bobertson

    They left off two girls and one cup. That would be really weird to see in space, or anywhere for that matter.

  • Chadster

    I always thought hypergiant stars were mind-boggling. Here is a link to the largest star we currently know of (150 times our sun’s mass)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eta_Carinae

  • Chadster

    also… hypernova are pretty amazing (100 times or more powerful than supernova)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypernova

  • Chadster: That is great – what an amazing photo too! Thanks for mentioning it.

  • fabrulana

    Great list, a few of the items however still depend on the old theory of the Big Bang and gravity. Magnetism caused by electricity has been shown as a much stronger force than gravity. There is a whole movement proving old theories currently to be wrong … not just because of wrong thinking, but because the majority of astrophysicist has no knowledge on electrical engineering. As with any revelation though its impact is slow and currently minimal (due to being suppressed by the mainstream re. Galileo Galilei)

    Check out : http://www.thunderbolts.info/
    or Google : Electric Universe

  • Ride Poonanie

    What a load of shit!!!

    proof it muther fucker!!!!!

  • Ride Poonanie: Welcome to the site!

  • Bob

    Wonder what a 10 Kilogram diamond from outter space would be worth here on earth, lol.

  • Bob: I suspect it would ruin the diamond industry :)

  • Tekno

    Oh Noes!! I just passed a Neutrino!! I will name him George.

  • ben

    cool list, ive seen a show about anti-matter and how even microscopic amounts of it could in theory propel spaceships thousands of miles at a time. Another cool idea to wrap your minds around: there is a theory dealing with how to create a time “machine”, really more of a wormhole. First, you must undertand black holes have an opposite end sort of like a long tube. If you can find the other end and then figure out a way of twisting them, each further twist should make time go back farther if you were to go through it. unfortunately, we have no way of twisting black holes as this would require energy far greater than the black hole could pull in, not to mention proving beyond all doubt black holes exist and then getting to one.

  • J Coustark

    Ride Poonanie:
    I see you have a good grasp of the english language. I feel sorry for you if that is the only way you can express an opinion.

  • weird stuff man, weird stuff :)

  • Today I learned a mistake of mine: I thought anti-matter and dark-matter same thing.

  • iain

    im sure it doesn’t matter!

  • iain

    what about ‘wormhole’ or the wormhole theory, yet another baffling thing in space, it is believed that it can be used to jump from 1 part of space to another in a short time, by bending , thats all i know im afraid, does anyone else have anything to add?

  • Drewbacca

    Check this stuff out – it completely boggles your mind to the point of pain. This should top the list, but i guess since its not about objects but dimensions it doesn’t really count.
    http://www.tenthdimension.com/flash2.php
    also – great site! long time reader, this is my first post.

  • Drewbacca: thanks for posting that link – I am blown away! It is amazing. I am going to buy a book on string theory now I think.

  • Shadow

    Fabrulana: Of course it’s suppressed! It’s something new that threatens to undermine both the established power of those on top, and the way they perceive the world around them.

    Ride Poonanie: Such a wonderful concept, yet the burden of proof is two-fold. You must also PROVE yourself right, else you are definitely wrong.

    Drewbacca: I recently read an article, that I’m now going to have to look for, that uses a much simpler and more easily proven theory. It also doesn’t rely on exotic dimensions and such to bolster it, and provides a better understanding of how the Universe works at all scales. When I find it, I’ll post it here on the site.

  • Mystern

    Shadow: Are you referring to the “E8 Theory of Everything”?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/14/scisurf114.xml
    Or a link to the actual published paper (though it contains scientific jargon than I am familiar with)
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0711.0770v1

  • I have never heard of most of those. Very interesting.

  • Rolad

    Very cool! I live in Sudbury where they have the huge lab that deteced neutrino using heavy water.

    Vacuum Energy is a strange idea, but I don’t think the expansion of the universe can be explained otherwise.

  • 23RedLeader

    exelent list J, this is one of my favorite topics. very facinating!

  • poetryman103

    look up m-theory to see some really weird things in the universe

  • JB

    fabrulana: I presume you have absolutely no idea of what you’re talking about.

    I know LOTS of astrophysics beeing also electronical engeneers, and, obviosly, they have a deeper knowlage of electromagnetism from their physic estudies than from engeneering.

    ¿what “established power of those on top” are you talking about?¿where you got those ideas?¿from a freaking “UFO friends” conference, maybe?

    I’m taking a look to those things you read and they aren’t science, it’s just bullshit. I’ve found ideas there witch contradic not only proved experiments but also mathematical axioms. To be real they would even make impossible the existence of the Universe!

    Learn a little about physics and stop wasting your time promoting pseudoscience, they harm enough by their own.

  • JB

    jfrater:
    About string theory. I recommend you “the Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene. One of the most divulgative books about it.

    thank you , really a nice list,
    but you forgot some top ones!

    white dwarfs and neutron stars (degenerated Fermi-Dirac gases, they rock!),

    supermassive black holes, wich are presumed to be in the center of the galaxies (and it’s said that you can enter there without being destroyed by the tidal forces)

    galactic density wave. Wich makes the spiral galaxies a wonderfull and espectacular place to live.

    And of course, Dark Energy, wich is pressumed to be the 70% of the total mass of the Universe

  • Toomer

    To add to #6, this came about after Radio Scientists working at Bell Labs named Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered noise coming from virtually everywhere. They determined this could be the microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang. The Universe visible from Earth was eventually scanned by the pair’s huge cone antenna, and provided data corroborated by Robert H. Dicke, Jim Peebles, and David Wilkinson, astrophysicists at Princeton University and returned the variable results seen here. These results were of incredible importance to all sciences, seeing as they showed variable wavelengths or “temperatures” in certain places, disproving the Steady State theory of the universe in which the universe has always been how it is now and always will continue to be. By showing variations in the temperature of different parts of the universe, the Solid State theory was disproved as if the universe were always the same, then we’d always get the same temperature no matter what we scanned – the temperature of the universe at it’s start/”creation” – which is clearly not the case.

  • Toomer

    Oh, and also, to add to #3 – the aforementioned detectors consist of bouncing light off of suspended mirrors and recording the almost impossibly minute differences in reflection angle and time.

  • Ironcross

    You see, this is what I don’t get. Science is SO SURE God did not create the universe and yet, 20 years ago if you said there were other planets you would have been laughed at. I was told in the 1970’s that Pluto was a planet – now it is not. To actually believe that life on Earth just “happened” to have occurred because protein “accidentally” found a nice warm pool to congregate to me is ridiculous. I have yet to read one scientist explain what the odds are for such an event to occur and whether or not they would take bets on it occurring. I’m sorry, our bodies are made with whatyoufind in DIRT. The Bible, written thousands of years ago explains this without any type of tests. The more discoveries are made and the more questions science have that are unexplained, the deeper my faith.

  • TonyDee

    #49. How intellectually ignorant can you get?

    “more questions science have…. the deeper my faith”

    So you are willing to believe sheep herders from ancient times that beleived a magical man sitting in the clouds knows all rather than keep abreast of scientific discoveries and progress.

    That’s right: “Progress”

    Progress is to think of idea, test it, repeat it, understand it, and agree to it. To prove science wrong is what makes knowledge move forward, for if you prove something worng, some proof/theory must take its place. If it cannot hold up to scientific reasoning, then the previous shall hold true, but progress has been made for there is one less disagreable factor to consider.

    You cannot just proclaim ‘god did it” and think that you are intellectually superior for that is the most absurd, dishonest, lazy, arrogant, and thoughtly wrong way to learn new things.

    Its akin to sticking you fingers in your ears, screaming “la-la-la-la i can’t hear you science” and willfully embracing stupidity like a little child.

    The very computer I typed this message is a product of science! If you wholly beleive you are correct, then why are you using science if you are so against it?

  • ViewARandomList…

    great list

  • agam ghai

    universe is the only things whihc we can bear in any mood
    its an reality
    which can make hold of us can take care of us
    whether we are in sorrow how much
    truthfully

  • deviantmiss

    wow what a sight these things must be. Amazing i can only imagine the things we dont know about, a bit scary really

  • poopface

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!
    juggs

  • Bert

    Totally off topic, but Bizarro isn’t Superman’s alter-ego. More like an half-baked evil (or backwards) clone. Superman’s actual alter-ego is Clark Kent. Or Kal-El if you want to talk about his Kryptonian alter ego.

    An alter-ego is just a different persona for the same person. Like Bruce Wayne and Batman. Or Spiderman and Peter Parker.

  • Bert

    Comment above aside, the analogy of matter and anti-matter with Superman and Bizarro is mostly accurate in that he’s like the anti-Superman. The difference being they don’t immediately annihilate each other when they come into contact.

  • Jennifer

    Actually, it’s something like 14 million neutrinos passing through your body a minute :P

    • Kensei

      Actually, its more like 50 trillion neutrinos. EVERY SECOND!

  • muzli

    ‘Astronomers generally believe that better technology is likely to eventually reveal several worlds similar to our own.’ I also really believe that there are other worlds similar to us, carrying creatures similar to us. Advanced technology would really reveal that in about a … billion years from now? Which is actually a blink of any eye compared to the age of the universe.

  • niti

    nice things related to space

  • cutie

    you are right

  • veronica

    hi ppl

  • veronica

    ;p

  • veronica

    0:)

  • Margaret

    I feel as though we should have a bonus of “Life” on here.

  • remote snatcher

    another weird thing in space??
    a dog in a rocket!! ;)

  • greg Hunter

    you guys are Freaks u know that?:p

  • pavni

    very good more to be gi

  • Captain Carrot

    You know, maybe we should learn how to behave and find ways to act better on our own d*amn planet before we go traipsing around looking for others. Who cares if there are planets billions of light years away? We need to focus on the one we’re actually living on and take care of it before trying to find other places to try to ruin.

  • Ball Shooter 2 – Bubble Shooter – Play Bubble Shooter Games

    Good job publishing this post. I’d like to learn more about this matter.

  • Reblogged this on Lemon Squares and commented:
    As a die hard Stars Wars fan, I’m blown away.

  • Lauren

    I think you should add the order of the solar system properly!!!

  • calvin hobbes

    I’ve never seen quasars compared to black holes. If I weren’t lazy, I’d research how one ex-star could release “more energy than hundreds of galaxies”. I don’t buy it.
    “…are reminders to scientists of our universe’s chaotic infancy”. Howso? Wish you had elaborated on that just a touch.

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