Tag Archives: galaxy cluster

What is the Great Attractor?

What is the Great Attractor?

Is there anything in the universe that’s just so eccentric, so breathtaking, and so beyond our understanding, that it gets a badass name? That’s what we’ll find out together in today’s episode! What is the Great Attractor?
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Okay, let’s do a bit of thought experiment to kick off the show.

I bet everybody here has been to the mall, right? Have you ever experienced a time when you are walking, and suddenly, you saw a bunch of people moving towards something?

Now, you don’t know what it is. You don’t know if it’s some food stall that’s really hitting the sales, or a new product being sold. You just know that it’s pulling people towards it. And to top it all off, you, with your ever curious mind, gets drawn to it as well! So, before you know it, you start walking.

It’s crazy, right? You don’t know why people are gathering, and yet you are attracted to that place where you’re absolutely clueless about what’s there to see, or even if what’s there could harm you. You just know that you’re curious and you want to find out. Something that you don’t understand is too charismatic for you to resist.

That, my dear friends, is the characteristic of our topic for today. A weird thing in space that is so bizarre, so unimaginably weird, and so difficult to grasp, that all we can do is to give it an appropriate name, The Great Attractor.

I hope we can say that The Great Attractor is a gigantic floating Harry Styles or Captain Ri from CLOY lightyears away in space from us, but that’s the problem. We don’t exactly know what it is. But we don’t actually know, so why not? It may actually be Henry Cavill in space.

Is he still popular now? I’m not keeping up with Hollywood stuff. Moving on.

Okay, here’s what we know about it so far. We don’t know what it is, but we know that it’s there. We’re sure it’s there, and we can see signs that it’s there.

It’s like having a gigantic stuffed toy in a very, very dark room. We can touch the fur, and we can feel how soft it is, maybe even smell it a bit, but that’s all the information we have. We’re not sure if it’s really a stuffed toy. It could be something else entirely.

So what are our observations leading us to think that it’s there? What are our touches to the fur and our sniffs to it?

We know that Hubble’s observations in 1929 lead us to believe that the universe is actually expanding, after he realized that a lot of galaxies are moving away from us. And not just moving away, it’s moving at an extremely fast pace faster than the speed of light.

This phenomenon is now something that we know as the Hubble flow: the movement of the galaxies due to the expansion of the universe.

To make that more visually appealing, say that you have a balloon that hasn’t been blown up yet. To add a little more playfulness, let’s say you decided to draw some random dots on it.

Now, you can measure the distance between the dots you made in the balloon, right? Okay, say at this point, you find a pump and you start blowing air into the balloon. Naturally, the balloon expands. But what else is happening here? The dots you drew earlier are now moving apart from one another. If earlier, one dot is a centimeter from another, now it’s maybe 5 centimeters.

The dot didn’t move, but it’s now farther away from the other because where it’s drawn at expanded.

The universe does this as well. It expands in a way similar to what we described in the balloon analogy. The galaxies are moving apart from one another at some velocity, so we expect them to be farther and farther from one another at a constant rate, right?

Oddly, this is not what scientists observe to be actually happening. Instead, they see a lot of galaxies seemingly gravitate towards a region in space. Even our very own Milky Way galaxy! The Great Attractor!

What scientists are sure of is that whatever it is, it’s definitely one powerful gravitational anomaly.

So how exactly did scientists arrive at this conclusion? That we are heading something so mysterious and puzzling?

Well, firstly, there’s this thing called expectation. The universe is expanding at an astoundingly fast rate of 2.2 million kilometers per hour!

So keeping this in mind, then, if we try to measure the speed at which a nearby galaxy is moving away from us, say, Andromeda, then we ought to get that speed right? Apparently not. This is one of the first odd measurements scientists found.

#InsaneCuriosity #TheGreatAttractor #HowTheUniverseWorks


9 Strangest Galaxies In The Universe!

9 Strangest Galaxies In The Universe!

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From galaxies that are shaped weirdly, to ones that have unique properties, join me as I show you the strangest galaxies in the universe!
9. ESO 137-001
I want you to think about the “shapes” of universes. Depending on the pictures you look at, you likely think of things like the spirals that many galaxies are believed to be shaped as. But in the case of ESO 137-001, that isn’t exactly the case. Because this galaxy…is shaped like a Jellyfish.
No, really, the spiral form of the galaxy is still there. BUT, it also has a “tail” that is formed by stars that are in its “wake” if you will, and it’s quite a tail as it extends over 260,000 light years into space!

8. NGC 1052-DF2
Ok, this one was weird in context as I’ll explain. You see, in 2018, the Hubble Space Telescope (one of the most important pieces of technology we have in terms of mapping space) found a galaxy known as NGC 1052-DF2. When scientists and astronomers looked at the galaxy though, they felt that something was missing. Mainly, there was a lack of Dark Matter, and that should’ve been impossible.
“Dark matter is conventionally believed to be an integral part of all galaxies — the glue that holds them together and the underlying scaffolding upon which they are built,” explains co-author Allison Merritt from Yale University and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany.

7. MACS 2129-1
The place known as MACS 2129-1 is definitely a galaxy that stands out for a whole host of reasons. Not the least of which is because it’s what’s known as a “No life Galaxy”. To be clear, there is life in the form of stars and planets within it, that’s not the issue. But, the galaxy is no longer “active”, meaning that it’s not making anymore stars despite it being over 10 billion years old.

6. The Andromeda galaxy
Arguably the most famous galaxy in the universe outside the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy is one that has led many people to wonder what is just outside our own galaxy, mainly because it’s our neighbor. Not just that, it’s our largest neighbor by a wide margin, and there’s a very good reason for that. Mainly, the Andromeda Galaxy is known as a “cannibal galaxy”.
What does that mean? Well, as the title describes, it actually collides with and devours other galaxies in order to make itself bigger:
“Andromeda has a much bigger and more complex stellar halo than the Milky Way, which indicates that it has cannibalized many more galaxies, possibly larger ones,” lead study author Dougal Mackey, an astronomer at Australian National University, said in a statement. “Knowing what kind of a monster our galaxy is up against is useful in finding out the Milky Way’s ultimate fate.”

So, remember the Jellyfish Galaxy we talked about a little while ago? Well, meet its cousin, the Tadpole Galaxy. This one is very on the nose in terms of its name because of the fact that it has a LONG tail that is attached to a body that reminds scientists of a tadpole. So looking at this you may wonder, “How did this happen?” According to the ones who found it, it’s a remnant of sorts from a galaxy that collided with another.
4. W2246-0526
If this list has shown you anything so far, it’s that the state of our universe is very much in a state of flux. But what you might not realize is that while some galaxies do collide with each other, others go and just steal things from one another. They alter shapes, steal stars, and sometimes even become brighter. Which is the case with W2246-0526:

3. Little Cub
Found in the Ursa Major Constellation, there is a dwarf galaxy known fondly as the “Little Cub”, and it’s one that has scientists very curious despite its impending doom. Why is that? Because the “Little Cub” as it is known is a galaxy that is dormant, and it has remained unchanged for about 13.7 billion years. If you know the alleged history of the universe, that would mean that it has been the same since the beginning of the universe more or less.

2. The Petal Galaxy
Let’s dig back into the visuals of galaxies for a bit. There are many galaxies out there in the universe that are growing at various rates as we’ve shown. But ESO 381-12 is different. Not only is this one growing, it’s growing in a way and in a shape that is truly baffling scientists. How so? Well, it looks like a flower in bloom, and the “petals” as they are known aren’t symmetrical.

1. Messier 83
15 million light years away in the Hydra is the galaxy known as Messier 83, and it is a galaxy that has caught a lot of people’s eyes. Mainly because those who have looked at it noticed that it has “two hearts”:

#InsaneCuriosity #StrangestGalaxies #HowTheUniverseWorks


The Most Massive Objects In The Universe!

The Most Massive Objects In The Universe!

Did you know that our universe is so big that we cannot really approximate its actual size?
Now that you can imagine how our universe is extremely big, it’s easy to grasp that it’s filled with wonder-souly massive objects. Curious to know these objects in order? Keep watching!
The Most Massive Objects in the Universe.

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Prior to stating the list of the most massive objects in the universe, it’s crucial to understand the concept of mass along with the astronomical mass units. Mass by definition is the measure of the amount of matter in an object usually measured in grams (g) or kilograms (kg), however due to the difficulties in measuring and expressing astronomical data in the international system of units (SI units); the Astronomical System of Units was developed in 1979 in which there was a redefinition of units of mass, time and length and the astronomical constants as well.
The astronomical unit of mass is the solar mass aka the mass of the sun which is approximately equal to 1.98892 * 10^(30) kg and it’s the standard unit of describing the mass of stars and galaxies.

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When it comes to cosmology, the term object is a loose concept because the universe is filled up with so many objects such as planets, stars, black holes and pulsars. However, one must ask “is any structure of gravitationally bound matter considered to be an object?” If the answer is yes, then we must consider nebulae, galaxies, galaxy clusters and the clusters of the galaxy clusters as objects as well. Moreover, we should consider the cosmic web, which is an overarching structure that holds all the matter in the universe as an object. Therefore, in this video we are introducing the most massive objects in the universe covering most of their types in descending order:

10- As you probably know, the most massive object in the universe from the beginning of time is the universe itself right before the moment of the big bang. The big bang model states that the universe at the beginning 13.7 billion years ago was in an extremely hot and dense state, just try to imagine the total mass of the universe condensed into extremely infinitesimally small point-like singularity.

9- Dark Energy; which constitutes 68% of the universe- you may wonder how on earth would energy be massive?! But thanks to Einstein’s energy-mass famous equation E=mc^(2) where c is the speed of light, transforming energy into mass is trivial. You may also have heard of the dark energy previously but let me explain its importance in detail… scientists in the early 1990s were fairly certain about some dynamics of the universe’s expansion; such that it might have enough energy density to stop its expansion and recollapse or it might have so little energy that it would never stop expanding, however, the gravitational forces were certain to slow the expansion as time went on due to the fact that our universe is full of matter and the attractive force of gravity pulls all matter together. However, in 1998, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of very distant supernovae showed that a long time ago; the universe was actually expanding more slowly than it is today. In other words, the expansion of the universe has not been slowing down due to gravity, as everyone expected, but it has been accelerating and something was causing this acceleration. Eventually, theorists still do not know what the correct explanation is but they have given the solution a name, it’s called the dark energy.
More is unknown than is known about dark energy, the amount of dark energy is known because we know how it influences the universe’s expansion. There Are three possible explanations of dark energy, One explanation is that it’s a property of space -yes space has many amazing properties, many of which are just beginning to be understood- Einstein was the first to realize that empty space can possess its own energy, furthermore, it’s possible for more space to come into existence. And because this energy is a property of space itself, it would not be diluted as the space expands. Additionally, as more space comes into existence, more of this space-energy will appear which will be the reason that the universe will expand faster and faster. Unfortunately, there are some issues regarding this fancy model and related to the cosmological constant.
8- Dark matter which constitutes 27% of the universe.

#InsaneCuriosity #MostMassiveObjectsInTheUniverse #TheBiggestStar #TheBiggestBlackhole