2016 was a great year for astronomy as we learnt various new facts such as our nearest neighbor who had earth like features and also about things such as gravitational waves. In fact rather than a good year it has been an excellent few decades for science and astronomy in the recent past. Lots of crucial and biggest secrets in the fields of cosmology and astronomy have been figured out. While a century ago we were completely clueless about the age of the universe now in fact with the help of maps showing echoes of the much talked about big bang we have come to know that the world is 13.82 billion years old, give or take about 10 million years extra.
Dark Matter – What is it?
At the famous underground research laboratory of Gran Sasso, underneath the mighty Apennine Mountains located in central Italy, a group of scientists and researching are trying to keep a close eye on a large tank which is filled with liquid xenon. This is done in anticipation of any exotic space particle might fall through that liquid giving some prominent answers to the scientists. Though such an event has not occurred the scientists are still patient about finding out more about the famed “dark matter”. “It would be nice to know what the dark matter particle is — or even to have some reassurance that it is a particle,” says Roberto Abraham, a well-established physicist at the University of Toronto, “I think that’s the most likely thing, but I’m open to the possibility that we need modified gravity.”
Dark Energy – What is it?
In the 1990s, scientists through their research using the Hubble Telescope came to know that the distant galaxies are not only just moving far away from the Milky way galaxy rather they are doing at that at a very fast pace. The scientists failed to answer why this phenomenon was occurring ever since early 90’s. No one knew about the force which was driving the galaxies away. This energy has been termed as the “dark energy,” and similar to the dark matter, it is yet to be understood fully.
The events preceding Big Bang?
Inevitably during every speech every cosmologist gets a type casted question, “Yes, but what came before the Big Bang?” “There’s this textbook answer that we’re supposed to give,” the well-known physicist from the prestigious Case Western Reserve University, Glenn Starkman says “We say that the question is meaningless, just as it’s meaningless to ask what’s south of the South Pole.” The notion of most of the scientists is that since time itself had begun with the event of Big Bang, therefore there is nothing that occurred before it. But people like Starkman clearly know that this answer is not really satisfying and up to the mark.
What is present inside of a Black Hole?
Black holes refer to those regions preset in space where the gravity creates such a large amount of pull that nothing — even light as well as any other different kind of signal— can escape. Due to the reason that nothing can escape it, it appears as if the inside of each and every existing black hole has been permanently “pinched off” from entire universe. “We have no idea what goes on inside a black hole — unless we’re willing to jump into one,” says Starkman. “It’s possible that quantum mechanics and general relativity somehow ‘shake hands’ at the event horizon, and work in a different way than here on Earth,” he added, “That’s an exciting prospect.”
Are we the only ones present in the universe?
Our very own galaxy has stars which are more than several hundred billion. Among this many are likely to have orbits rotating around them. And if that was not imposing enough, many scientists and astronomers believe that there are at least a trillion more galaxies present in the entire visible universe. Given the large number of planets likely to be present, it practically seems highly unlikely that we are the only ones present in the entire universe. As a result of which most scientists across the world are trying to embark on the so called SETI, better known as the search extraterrestrial intelligence.