Have you ever looked, like, up? Apparently there’s a bunch of stuff up there. You know, in space – even though we are in space. Everything is space. You’re not IN the universe, you are a part of the universe. But that’s a whole other blog post… Weird, right? I am pretty much concerned with things in my immediate awareness–the sandwich I’m eating, the book I’m reading, the girl ignoring my texts–but apparently there’s a whole universe out there with a bunch of cool stuff going on!
There’s a lot of stuff up there (again, ‘up’ is relative but I’m not gonna get into that right now). And these past few days, scientists have done a lot of cool stuff with regards to finding new stuff in space (one more aside, last one, I promise: finding something in space could be finally finding that one book you wanted at a used book store, or that favorite sweater you misplaced, because everything is space).
Anyway, scientists found some cool stuff in space. First:
Water on Mercury
Water is pretty cool. You can swim in it, use it to make water balloons, take a nice hot shower in it after a long day, it’s in coffee. Oh yeah, and it is that which sustains all life on Earth, and without it you wouldn’t exist.
“Mercury likely harbors between 100 billion and 1 trillion metric tons of water ice in permanently shadowed areas near its poles, scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Messenger spacecraft announced Thursday (Nov. 29).”
Finding water on another planet always has always raised the question of if that planet could sustain life. Water is necessary for life (as we know it, but I’m not gonna get into the definition of life and its meaning right now [well, maybe a little, here's one question: why do we assign so much significance to life as we know it, and finding similar lifeforms? It's just one way for molecules to be arranged]). Mercury is also possibly home to ‘organic compounds’ – no, not organic kale, but rather molecules containing carbon, which are building blocks for life.
Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary life division said, “The more we examine the solar system, the more we realize it’s a soggy place,” which I’m only quoting because it’s kinda funny and I mean, at least he didn’t call it a “moist place”. Imagine if all the observable universe was just totally moist?
Potential Largest Black Hole Discovered
I discovered a huge black hole the other day (and steering away from dirty jokes), it’s called watching BBC sitcoms on Netflix, and it totally sucked up all my time.
But sorry, this isn’t about my crippling procrastination problem (well it kind of is because this article was due yesterday.) Astronomers have discovered a black hole “17 billion times the mass of the Sun and possibly the largest ever detected“
This is cool simply because it’s another example of how little we know about all that is outside the confines of our Earth.
“’Normally a black hole is tiny compared to the galaxy it sits in, but this one is really big, so much so that most of the stars in this galaxy probably feel the black hole’s attraction,’” said Remco van den Bosch, astronomer at Germany’s Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy.” So it’s basically the space equivalent of when a hot person walks into a bar.
Every thing we find like this helps contribute to our understanding of the universe, National Geographic reports, “Jenny Greene, a Princeton University astronomer not connected to the study, agreed that the new finding will force researchers to think hard about their ideas of how supermassive black holes are connected to their parent galaxy.”
So just remember, when you’re having a bad day and wondering about the point of it all, there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in space, and we’ve just begun to understand it.
Image via Shutterstock