All over the world, this week marks “International Space Week”, a week designated for raising awareness of space exploration. Alongside advances in space research, researchers have come across more and more exotic phenomena that remind us that there is much that remains shrouded in mystery. This week, IAF Magazine investigates white holes, and mysterious images and substances
Shani Pomes, Shir Cohen
From the dawn of mankind, human beings have looked towards the star-covered sky and wondered about the meaning of existence. Thanks to advances in space exploration and technology, some of the great mysteries that preoccupied mankind centuries ago seem obvious to us nowadays. In honor of International Space Week, IAF Magazine brings you the questions bothering the greatest space explorers.
The next mystery may actually lie in photography: A picture of the Eagle Nebula (a large cluster of stars surrounded by clouds of dust and gas, organized in a pattern reminiscent of an eagle) aired fifteen years ago in an article on the U.S. channel CNN, lead to a wave of people calling in claiming that they notices a human face in the nebula, some even going as far as to claim it may be the face of Jesus. After the colors of the picture were generated on the computer, a human figure appeared in the nebula. A scientific answer for this bizarre phenomenon has yet to be found.
Computations have proved that mankind has only discovered four percent of the total matter in the universe. If this is the case, where is the rest of the matter? A few decades ago, researchers believed that the missing matter appeared in the form of “dark matter”. The theory states that wherever no matter can be seen by the naked eye, there is “dark matter”, which is a kind of gravitational glue between objects. That it is impossible to see or touch the hidden matter and that light and radio waves pass through it without interference makes it all the more difficult for researchers to investigate or even prove that it actually exists.
Yes, No, Black, White
With the help of current technological systems, evidence has been collected on the existence of “black holes”, celestial bodies that, through their mighty, heavy force, swallow anything in range. Using mathematical calculations, scientists have proven the existence of “white holes”: opposite phenomenon of black holes. Instead of swallowing everything in their path, they spit out tremendous amount of material, seemingly out of nothing. Although their existence has been proven, until now, no “white holes” have been found. If such a hole is found one day, researchers believe that it will provide answers to additional mysteries.