Mysteries Of The Universe

1. Why did Mars dry out :
We already know from our landers and orbiters that water once flowed in streams and great floods across the now barren landscape of Mars. What we dont know and are trying to understand is why the Red Planet became so dry and inhospitable. Theories range from an asteroid impact blowing most of the atmosphere into space in a catastrophic event or solar wind erosion.

2. Have we really discovered a rectangular galaxy :
Its being called the emeraldcut galaxy, and it was recently discovered by an international team of astronomers with the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. The gemcut galaxy was detected in a widefield image taken with the Japanese Subaru Telescope by astrophysicist Dr. Lee Spitler. Its believed that the unusual shape is the result of a collision between two galaxies.

3. What is the fate of the universe :
A scary question to think about. When will the enigma we call the universe come to its demise? The answer as you might have guessed it is shrouded in uncertainty. Scientists are not even sure if the universe will come to a defined end or a more gradual tail off. Suggestions for the universes death range from heat deathwhich is the death of all differences in heat in the universeto a universe that collapses on itself. All theories are scary.

4. How old is the universe :
At the dawn of the twentyfirst century and despite all our technological and scientific progress, the universes age remains far from certain. Current estimates place the age of the universe at 13.799?0.021 billion years.

5. What is dark matter :
The truth is we really dont know exactly what dark matter is. However scientists have been able to pin down some of its 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 galaxysized black hole.

6. Extraterrestrial Life :
Carl Sagan says that if we exist then no matter how rare intelligent life is in the universe there is bound to be others.The Astrophysicist Frank Drake created a mathematical equation to figure out how many other planets could contain intelligent life out in the universe. He found that even if only one in a billion planets contain intelligent life on them then there is still over 6 billion planets with intelligence out there.Enrico Fermi said that if life is indeed that common then why havent we seem more evidence of it? It should be completely impossible that we havent had some sort of contact from an alien life form. And if we really havent, as the official report goes, then what are we doing here on earth that makes no one want to visit?

7. And what happens when black holes collide :
Theory suggest that when two black holes come close enough to where they cannot escape each others 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 cant fully understand it. A black hole merger would produce tremendous energy and send massive ripples through the spacetime fabric of the universe. However, nobody has witnessed black hole collisions as of yet.

8. Consciousness :
How does our mind work? What is the difference between simulation of consciousness and the real thing? How does a mind become self aware? There are so many questions we have about consciousness that it has sparked many scientific studies and philosophical debates.What appears to be the most interesting question among scientists is if the consciousness can survive after death.

9. How did the moon form :
Where did our quiet, beautiful satellite that makes our nights more friendly and romantic come from? Scientists and philosophers have been wondering about this for centuries. The first modern idea about the formation of the moon was the fission theory (by George Darwin, son of Charles). However, the most widely accepted theory is that the moon was formed when a large object (about the size of Mars) slammed into the Earth billions of years ago. The collision then turned the newly formed Earth into a molten ball of rock and ejected material into orbit.

10. Whats the purpose of gamma ray bursts :
One of the greatest mysteries of observational astronomy during the past three decades has been the nature of gammaray bursts. We can recognize and observe them but we still have no idea why they randomly appear and why they happen.

11. Do we live in a parallel universe :
For as long as humans have been able to think and reason, a question has loomed in the back of our head How do we know that everything we see is everything there is? Modern science is almost certain there could be parallel universes (and thus lives) but to test such a notion is difficult.

12. How did galaxies form :
Theres a lot of debate as to how galaxies formed but at the end of the day, no one knows for sure. After the Big Bang, scientists are not sure if small particles slowly teamed up and gradually formed stars, star clusters and eventually galaxies or if the Universe first organize as clumps of matter that later subdivided into galaxies.


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