Science Day is celebrated in Ukraine on May 20. We have decided to remember that astronomy is not only amazing news about the discovery, but also the secrets of the Universe, which scientists have been struggling to solve for decades. Here are five of the most amazing riddles that will ever be answered.
1. What happened in space at the beginning of its existence
Our Universe was born 13.7 billion years ago as a result of an incident called the Big Bang. No one knows what it is, because as we approach the moment of the birth of everything, the laws of physics lose the opportunity to tell us about events of that moment.
However, it is not only the Big Bang that is a mystery to scientists. No less mysterious is the era of inflation and the dark ages following it. Astrophysicists are still arguing about many questions, whether primary black holes could have been born at this time and what consequences this had for the further development of the Universe.
2. How are planets formed?
Scientists have learned a lot about how planets are formed over the past hundred years. From the most diverse and very exotic theories, they come to understand that these objects are formed in protoplanetary disks around young stars. However, there is still a lot that is unclear.
First, astronomers have found that the so-called orphan planets often do not fit into this picture: they are born in gas-dust clouds together with stars, and it is unknown how many such objects exist in the Universe.
Secondly, the picture of the formation of planets from tiny particles is still incomplete. What part of the material of the protoplanetary disk is lost during the formation of the system and where it disappears also remains a mystery.
3. Was life born in outer space?
Another question concerns the origin of life in the Universe. The dominant theory is abiogenesis (synthesis of biological molecules from non-biological ones) occurring in the oceans on the surface of planets. At the same time, it is recognized that simple chemical compounds can fall on them from space.
However, recent studies have shown that quite complex organic molecules can be synthesized directly in space and even be located in gas-dust clouds, from which stars are born later. Whether ribonucleic acids can arise in these conditions, which can be considered as the first simplest form of life, is still unclear.
4. Where are intermediate-mass black holes hiding?
Two types of black holes are now known in space: relatively small objects of stellar mass and their supermassive relatives “living” in the centers of galaxies. At the same time, according to the prevailing hypothesis, the second ones should be formed when the first ones merge.
But this means that there must be intermediate-mass black holes that are really a transitional link between two known types. There are only a few of them discovered at the moment, but there should be thousands. Maybe they are hiding from Earth scientists in some way. Or perhaps the theory of the formation of supermassive black holes is wrong.
5. What is dark matter?
Dark matter is a hypothetical form in which, according to observations, there should be more matter in the Universe than is contained in stars, nebulae and black holes. It does not enter into electromagnetic interaction with the rest of the matter, so it is fundamentally impossible to see it due to the absorption or reflection of any rays. It interacts with the rest of the Universe exclusively gravitationally.
Therefore, it is very difficult to understand what kind of particles dark matter consists of. Scientists have several contradictory theories about this. A small part of astrophysicists are generally convinced that no dark matter exists. At least some clarity here can only be brought by new research.
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