Scientists have revealed eight major unanswered questions of the Universe. According to the journal Science they vary from the mystery of dark matter to the query of why the Sun is so hot.
Indeed in some cases even scientists admit that some of these questions probably will not ever be answered. And if they will, it will happen thanks to astronomical observations, explains Robert Coontz.
The biggest mystery concerning scientists is that of dark matter. “A part of the mystery is that we have no evidence, no indication of whether we will ever find an answer for this,” says Simon White, astrophysicist of Max Planck Institute in Germany.
So, here are eight mysteries confronting scientists:
1. Dark energy, which is there but can not yet be measured to be detected.
2. Dark matter, which is closely related to dark energy. We use this term to describe the “glue” that holds everything in the universe together. However, Adrian Cho, who wrote the essay for the magazine, believes that in contrast to the dark energy, scientists are likely to detect its particle.
3. Where are the missing baryons? In cosmology, 5% of the universe is composed of ordinary matter (baryons), 23% of dark matter and 72% of dark energy. Baryons are subatomic particles that are created by combinations of three quarks. Together with the mesons they compose the hadron particle family, i.e. of particles made of quarks.
Baryons have a quantum number which is maintained in all kinds of interactions. Their name comes from the Greek word “heavy” and when it was given, it was believed that these particles have very large mass compared to the rest of particles. The most commonly known baryons are protons and neutrons, which are the building blocks of the atomic nucleus.
4. Why do stars explode? Many processes of the formation of stars and the solar system are known by scientists but are not really understood. What happens to a star when it explodes, forming what is known as a supernova?
5. What re-ionized the universe? For a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, electrons were stripped of atoms, and we have no idea why it happened.
6. What is the source of the most energetic cosmic rays? We are bombarded by them every day, but investigators still can not agree on their source.
7. Why is our solar system so “weird”? Is there some logic in our solar system or it is dominated by chaos and chance? Nobody really knows.
8. Why is the Sun’s corona so hot? Those who study the Sun still do not know. The corona is the outermost layer of the core of the Sun, but it is incredibly hot and the reason for this is a mystery.
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