Top 10 Recently Discovered Cosmic Phenomena

We know a lot about space, which is to say that we know very little about space. But that’s fantastic because we’re constantly having our minds blown when we find new things. Recently, we discovered the astonishing celestial phenomena below.

A Human-Made ‘Space Shield’

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NASA researchers have found a surprising and beneficial by-product of radio transmissions: an anthropogenically created “VLF (very low frequency) bubble” around Earth that shields us from some types of radiation.

The Earth also has its all-natural Van Allen radiation belts, where Sun-spewed energetic particles are trapped within the folds of Earth’s magnetic field. But now scientists see that Earth’s accumulated electromagnetic output inadvertently created a kind of radioactive barrier that deflects some of the high-energy space particles constantly assaulting Earth.

The barrier is a mix of electromagnetic gunk, including leftovers from the orbital nuclear tests of the Atomic Age. Earth has also been consistently beaming radio waves into space for over 100 years now, as well as electric “residue” from the many power grids sprawling across the globe.

A Double-Ringed Galaxy

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Galaxy PGC 1000714 is possibly the “most” unique ever observed. It’s a Hoag-type object with a ring around it, like Saturn, except scaled way up to galactic size. Not even 0.1 percent of galaxies are ringed, but PGC 1000714 is in a class of its own with not one but two rings.

The rings surround the core, a 5.5-billion-year-old region teeming with aging stars that glow red. Around that is a large, much younger 0.13-billion-year-old outer ring, which glows with the hotter, blue brilliance of youthful stars.

When scientists looked at the galaxy across multiple wavelengths, they spotted the totally unexpected fingerprint of a second, inner ring, closer to the core in age and completely unconnected to the outer ring. Considering that the overwhelming majority of galaxies are elliptical or spiral-armed, PGC 1000714 may remain unique for a long while.

A Planet Hotter Than Stars

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The hottest exoplanet discovered so far is hotter than a whole lot of stars. The newly described Kelt-9b is a scorching 3,777 degrees Celsius (6,830 °F), and that’s on the dark side! On the side actually facing its star, the temperatures rise to about 4,327 degrees Celsius (7,820 °F), almost as toasty as the surface of the Sun.

The star in question, Kelt-9, is an A-type star, a mere 650 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. A-type stars are among the hottest, and this particular individual is a baby at only 300 million years old. But as it ages and expands, its bloated surface will eventually touch Kelt-9b.

By then, the planet may be nothing more than a rocky cinder because the UV barrage from its parent strips away 10 million tons of material per second, forming a gleaming, streaming tail as Kelt-9b moves around its star on an odd, pole-to-pole orbit.

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