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Has someone punched a hole in the universe?

Has someone punched a hole in the universe? 86

The constellation Orion has fascinated humanity for thousands of years.

Almost all cultures on the globe have myths and folklore associated with this charming constellation visible in the night sky.

The Egyptians, for example, have claimed that their god Osiris descended on Earth from Orion, and some researchers even believe that the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids by imitating stars in the sky.

Based on the constellations and the position of the stars, the ancients built fascinating monuments, calendars and “observatories” that allowed them to trace the position of the constellations and celestial bodies across the sky.

After all, many cultures have claimed that, from these constellations, “creator gods” have descended to Earth.

But in addition to the fact that Orion was very important in ancient times, giving rise to fascination among early astronomers, the constellation still puzzles modern-day scientists who are constantly exploring space.

A mystery in deep space

About 1500 light-years from Earth, south of the constellation Orion, is found mysterious structure (it’s actually a nebula) called NGC 1999.

At first glance, it may not seem like much, but the truth is that this is one of the greatest cosmic discoveries made by modern astronomers.

NGC 1999 is actually a bright nebula and despite the fact that it may look like many other nebulae, this one has one characteristic that no other nebula has: it’s empty.

This is some mystery to astronomers.

Trying to explain the black patch in space, scientists first suggested that the black patch in the sky was caused by extremely thick cloud of gas and dust which prevents light from passing through and thus gives the impression that the region of the sky is black with no stars.

This type of cosmic structure is called dark nebulae or absorbent nebulae. They are a kind of interstellar cloud that is so dense that it obscures all the light behind the objects behind it.

To make sure that NGC 1999 is, in fact, a dark nebula, scientists have directed Herschel’s telescope to observe it.

The Herschel telescope, unlike other telescopes, has the ability to penetrate thick clouds of gas, such as those found in dark nebulae.

But the observations revealed a worrying fact. When the Herschel telescope monitored NGC 1999, it found that it was indeed empty.

It’s weird, according to what we know about the universe. But it could mean two things. Either the cloud material of NGC 1999 is so thick that we simply do not have the means to penetrate it, or NGC 1999 is an unexplained phenomenon in outer space.

As Herschel’s observations revealed a “void”, subsequent studies were performed using submillimeter bolometers mounted on the Atacama Pattinder experimental radio telescope and the Mayol (Kit Peak) and Magellan telescopes.

These subsequent studies deepened the mystery.

Scientists have come to the conclusion that the mysterious “patch of emptiness” is not black because of the dense material in it, but because it is indeed an empty space.

This means that NGC 1999 is one of the rarest cosmic mysteries ever discovered by scientists.

However, despite the fact that NGC 1999 remains unexplained, scientists have speculated that the piece of empty space could be caused by extremely powerful bursts of hot gas emanating from young stars in the vicinity that helped form a massive hole in space.

Others theorize that the slice of black sky is caused by extremely powerful radiation coming from nearby stars.


In December, Earth’s inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 97

At the end of the year, astronomers expect to see a rare cosmic phenomenon dubbed the “Christmas star” in the sky. It will be caused by the fact that Saturn and Jupiter come close to each other at a minimum distance and almost collide to become one super-bright point of light.

These two planets became one straight line in the solar system a few weeks ago, but at the end of December they will be on it for observers from Earth. This will happen on December 21, 2020, on the day of the winter solstice, when the daylight hours are the shortest and the night is the longest. Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for the first time since the Middle Ages, Forbes writes.

“The conjunctions of the two planets are extremely rare, but this particular conjunction is especially rare because the planets will be very close to each other,” Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, USA said. “In order to observe a closer conjunction of these planets in the night sky, we would have to return on March 4, 1226.”

It is noted that the unusual celestial phenomenon can be observed from anywhere on the planet. The main thing is that the sky is clear. The “Christmas Star” can be seen in the western sky about an hour after sunset when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

“On the evening of their closest approach, December 21, they will appear as a twin planet, separated by less than 1/5 the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan said. “For most amateur astronomers looking at the night sky through a telescope, both planets and several of their largest satellites will be in the same field of view this evening.”

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 98

Those who want to see Jupiter and Saturn converge in the sky as close, but will be higher above the horizon, will have to wait until March 15, 2080, Hartigan said. After that, a similar configuration for this planetary pair will not be observed until 2400.

Astronomers are already preparing equipment to analyze in detail the upcoming event. Everything is very serious, because the second such rapprochement between Jupiter and Saturn cannot be expected.

Of course, there will not be a collision of planets. You just get the impression that something terrible is about to happen in the solar system. Astronomers have assured that there is no reason to worry.

Is the “Christmas Star” an omen of things to come? Mark your calendars! 

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A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth 99

NASA announced the imminent flight of a potentially dangerous asteroid will pass the Earth. The website of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects says that a celestial body ranging in size from 370 to 820 meters will approach the planet on November 29.

The asteroid, consisting of nickel, iron and cobalt, is approaching the Earth. The cost of minerals in its composition reaches $ 17.4 billion, with reference to the Asterank database, which contains data on 600 thousand asteroids.

The distance between the asteroid 153201 (2000 WO107) and the Earth will be more than 4 million kilometers, the Space Reference specified with reference to NASA data. It is noted that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is 10 times less, and the asteroid is considered dangerous because it crosses the orbit of our planet.

According to the NASA Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects, the celestial body will approach the Earth on November 29. 

It is noted that this time the asteroid does not pose a threat to the planet, however, it belongs to the group of potentially dangerous ones, since its trajectory crosses the Earth’s orbit.

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Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars 100

NASA’s new rover is equipped with a microphone to record sounds during landing on the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is en route to Mars, has recorded its flight to the planet.

The new rover is equipped with a microphone designed to record sound when entering the atmosphere, descent and landing. The device should arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021.

But before the rover reached its destination, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released an audio file recording what the rover “hears” during its interplanetary voyage.

The 60-second recording, posted on SoundCloud, was captured on Oct.19 while checking the rover’s EDL and microphone system.

Experts explain that the buzzing sound comes from a pump that pumps fluid to regulate the rover’s temperature.

NASA compares the new hit for your playlist to the noise you hear on wired headphones when the wire rubs against your clothing. It was these mechanical vibrations that the Perseverance microphone picked up.

“Located at the rear of the starboard side of the Perseverance, the pump is part of the unit’s heat system that maintains operating temperatures for the equipment, even in the coldest locations,” JPL said in a statement.

“I apologize to the person who came up with the slogan for the film” Alien “(” No one in space will hear your scream “- ed.), Perhaps no one will hear the scream, but perhaps a pump to remove heat will be heard,” says a leading engineer at JPL Dave Gruel.

He added that the microphone picks up the hum of the pump through mechanical vibration.

The Perseverance rover is supposed to land on Mars on February 18, 2021 in the Jezero crater – it is believed that a riverbed used to pass through this area. This is one of those places where traces of living organisms on the planet could be preserved.

The main mission of the rover is to detect signs of life in order to advance the study of the ancient history of Mars. In addition, the device will become part of a mission to deliver samples from the surface of the red planet: it will dig out rock at certain points, and then another device will pick them up, which will send them to Earth.

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