Tag Archives: galaxies

What If the Big Bang Wasn't the Beginning of the Universe?



In the beginning, there was nothing. Then bang. Our Universe emerged in an explosion of light and energy. Current theories say that it all began 13.7 billion years ago. Or did it? Let’s shed some light on this. So, how fast is the Universe expanding? Will the Universe and everything in it ever die? And why could our Universe have existed before the Big Bang? What’s a singularity?

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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

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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

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What If the Universe Isn't Uniform?

What If the Universe Isn’t Uniform?

In a galaxy far away, gravity didn’t quite work the way it does on Earth. And the speed at which everything moved was really weird too. Maybe, some places in our vast Universe just don’t abide by our laws of physics? And if that was true, what would it mean for us?

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What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.

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G Objects: A Strange New Discovery At The Galactic Centre!

G Objects: A Strange New Discovery At The Galactic Centre!

From what they are, to what they could mean for both black holes and the Milky Way Galaxy, join me as we unravel the mystery of G objects.
So…what exactly are G objects? To answer that, we have to go to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, you know, the galaxy we live in right now? Well, at the center of that is a black hole, or to be more accurate a “radio source” that we BELIEVE to be a Supermassive Black Hole known as Sagittarius A. We technically know it’s a black hole because of readings and such, but as many scientists like to note, if you haven’t seen it or touched it yourself…it’s all theoretical.
Anyway, like you would expect from a black hole, the area around it is dark (as black holes don’t let light escape and thus they make a black mass of space) and anything that would get near it would get sucked in. But over the last few decades, astronomers have noted that there are things actually orbiting the black hole, which really shouldn’t be happening. And yet, they are, and they’re acting like objects that have never been viewed before in space or anything else.
Thus, these objects were labeled, “G Objects”, and of these objects that we have found, there are 6. There could be more, but we haven’t found them yet, so for now it’s just six, and the first two of these six were actually found decades ago.
Here’s what happened, scientists were studying the black hole and over the course of many years realized that two objects seemed to be orbiting the black hole, and yet, they weren’t acting right. The first belief of these objects in regards to what they were gas clouds. Which if we’re being honest would make sense as gas clouds are littered throughout space, including one that has the chemical that is used to make alcohol taste better (no, really, look it up.)
But there were some problems with this theory. First among them was that these two different gas clouds were 100 astronomical units across (one astronomical unit is the distance between the Earth and the sun), which made it REALLY weird that something that size would be orbiting a black hole without issue. And as they looked closer, they noticed that the clouds were getting stretched out as they were getting closer to the black hole. So in many ways, these gas clouds were acting like something else made of gas…
“These objects look like gas but behave like stars,” said physicist and astronomer Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Since the find of G1 and G2 (the names of the two gas clouds), the team led by Ghez has been studying the center of the galaxy for 20 years! And through that, they found G3-G6, confirming that there were many objects orbiting Sagittarius A…for some reason. What’s even weirder if you can believe it is the orbits of these six objects aren’t uniform in the slightest, they are vastly different. No unlike the planets in our solar system having much longer orbits than Earth.
How different are they? Depending on the object they can range from 170 years to 1,600 years! And…yes, there’s more, there’s always more, they STILL don’t know what these six objects are! How’s that for a kicker?
We are getting clues though as to what some of them MIGHT be. For example, in 2014, the object known as G2 entered a period of its orbit where it was closest to the black hole, and when that happened, some observations were made:
“G2 is a dusty red object associated with gas that shows tidal interactions as it nears its closest approach with the Galaxy’s central black hole.”
Not just that though, as they observed it from that point to where it moved to next, scientists noticed that it was changing shape based on where it was near the black hole:
“We had seen it before, but it didn’t look too peculiar until it got close to the black hole and became elongated, and much of its gas was torn apart. It went from being a pretty innocuous object when it was far from the black hole to one that was really stretched out and distorted at its closest approach and lost its outer shell, and now it’s getting more compact again.”
So what does that tell us? What does this mean as a whole? Does it truly help us determine what G2 is, or what any of the other G objects are?
Before we answer that, be sure to like the video and subscribe to the channel! That way you don’t miss any of our weekly videos!
The answer to what the G objects may be might be simpler than you might suspect. Because it doesn’t necessarily have to do with what the G objects are per se, but rather, with where they are located!
Confused? I’ll explain. There are many kinds of stars in the universe, we’ve even talked about some of them here on the channel before, but one of those types of stars is Binary. Binary stars are defined as..
To that end, some scientists believe that the other G Objects are possibly also gas byproducts from fused Binary Stars.

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