Most of the time, the universe is pretty fascinating. It's this massive space filled with all sorts of things: from giant balls of gas to floating solid rocks that circle those gaseous orbs. But there are also some weird things within this ever-expanding space.
These peculiar phenomena surprise scientists whenever they are discovered. Take a look at some of the most unique and curious objects lurking throughout the cosmos.
|Photo Credit: Carnegie Institute for Science via Science Focus|
Although it hasn’t been found yet, astronomers believe there is a giant planet lurking within our solar system. The so-called Planet Nine is said to be in orbit far beyond Neptune and is herding unusually aligned objects around the Sun.
Researchers say Planet Nine would likely be 10 times the mass of Earth if it is the reason why objects like VP113 have an elongated orbit “significantly tilted relative to that of the planets,” according to British monthly magazine Science Focus.
Photo Credit: Judy Schmidt via Flickr
The Red Rectangle Nebula
The cosmos is filled with gas, which can take on weird and wonderful forms once it becomes clouds. Among these fascinating cloud forms us the Red Rectangle Nebula, which has baffled astronomers due to its oddly geometric shape.
According to Science Focus, the nebula also demonstrates a rare phenomenon called “extended red emission,” which makes the nebula’s dust glow red. The unusual glow is believed to be due to intense ultraviolet light from the stars as they interact with carbon-rich molecules in the dust.
Photo Credit: Owlcation
The unusual characteristics of Chiron led its various classification through the years. It was first thought to be an asteroid and then was classified as a comet when it displayed a coma (the nebulous envelope around the nucleus of a comet).
However, it was too big to be a comet so it may have been from the Kuiper Belt. But how did it get so far away from the Belt and land in its current position? Its brightness variance level also doesn’t match with an object that far away.
Today, many scientists have classified Chiron as a comet due to the majority of the features it shows.
Photo Credit: New Atlas
This object is classified as a main-belt comet—an active asteroid or asteroids that have comet-like features. Owlcation, an education-based website, says that classification alone makes Body 288P unusual since it blurs the difference between asteroids and comets.
The weird part about the 288P is that it’s a binary active asteroid, meaning it spins apart and each half is pushed away by gas torque.
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This star is possibly the most bizarre object of its kind. When researchers first found Tabby’s star—officially known as KIC 846285—they found that it would dip in brightness at irregular intervals and for odd lengths of time. There were many theories that sprung up when this phenomenon was known, with one saying the unusual dip was due to an alien megastructure.
However, researchers today believe Tabby’s star is surrounded by a unique ring of dust that causes the object to behave in such a way.
|Photo Credit: Chuck Charter via Live Science|
Aside from this object’s mouthful of a name, SIMP J01365663+093347 is already weird for being one of the rogue planets drifting through the galaxy. Aside from being pushed out of its orbit, it also has a magnetic field that’s 200 times stronger than Jupiter’s.
The rogue planet’s magnetic field is so strong that it creates flashing auroras in its atmosphere that can be seen with radio telescopes.
|Photo Credit: Republica via Pixabay|
Mysterious Radio Signals
Researchers have been receiving “ultrastrong, ultrabright” radio signals that last for merely a few milliseconds since 2007. Live Science, a science news website, says these enigmatic flashes are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) and originate from billions of light-years away.
Many would believe these FRBs are from aliens, but researchers it is unlikely (even though they have yet to determine where they came from). Scientists are close to unraveling this mystery, however, after capturing a repeating FRB that flashed six times in a row—the second such signal ever seen.