It does not take an astronomer to know that space is a strange place. But how strange it is makes us wonder and makes us very surprised.
Space is dominated by invisible electromagnetic forces that we do not normally perceive. It is full of strange types of objects that we have never seen on earth.
NASA has also published a list of five things that happen exclusively in space on its website.
On Earth, matter usually exists in the form of one of the following three states: solid, liquid, or gaseous.
But in space, 99.9% of matter is in a completely different form, which is plasma.
Made up of free ions and electrons, this material is in a supercharged state, which overheats the gas generated when the material is heated to extreme temperatures or combined with strong currents.
Most stars in the night sky, including the Sun, are made up of plasma. Sometimes they appear on the ground in the form of lightning.
Plasma can work together as a team. It conducts electricity and is affected by electromagnetic fields. These fields can control the motion of charged particles in the plasma and create waves that accelerate the particles to enormous velocities.
Space is filled with invisible magnetic fields that create plasma paths.
And around the Earth, the same magnetic field that the compass North creates guides plasma through space around our planet.
In the sun, magnetic fields emit solar flares and swells directly from the plasma, also known as solar air, and travel through the solar system. When the solar wind reaches the earth, it can activate active processes such as aurora and space weather, which, if strong enough, can damage satellites and communications.
2. Temperature peak
The earth enjoys a wide range of temperatures. Records show that the maximum temperature is around 57 degrees Celsius to -89 degrees Celsius.
But what we consider to be the most intense on Earth is the average score in space. On planets without an insulating atmosphere, the temperature can vary greatly between day and night. Temperatures are around 449 degrees Celsius and Wednesdays are usually the coldest days, with temperatures reaching -171 degrees Celsius.
Significantly, the satellites and instruments that NASA launches into space are carefully designed to withstand the intensity of space weather.
The astronauts’ suit is designed to withstand temperatures ranging from -157 degrees Celsius to 121 degrees Celsius. They are white enough to reflect light when exposed to the sun, and heaters are placed throughout the interior of the suite to keep the astronauts warm in the dark. It is designed to provide constant pressure and oxygen and to withstand damage from micrometers and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
3. Cosmic Chemistry
Now, the sun is pressing hydrogen into helium at its center. The process by which atoms bind together under high pressure and temperature to form new elements is called “fusion”.
And when the universe was born, it was mostly a line of hydrogen and helium and some other light elements.
Since then, the fusion of stars and supernovae has given the universe more than 80 other elements, some of which make life possible.
The Sun and other stars are excellent fusion engines, connecting the Sun with about 600 million metric tons of hydrogen every second, which is 102 times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
In addition to the formation of new elements, fusion releases large amounts of energy and light particles, called photons, which take about 250,000 years to reach about 700,000 km from the Sun’s visible surface. After that, light takes only eight minutes to travel 150 million kilometers to Earth.
Fusion, an anti-nuclear reaction that breaks down heavy elements into smaller ones, was first demonstrated in laboratories in the 1930s and is used in nuclear power plants today.
4. Magnetic bursts
Every day, space around the Earth causes giant explosions. Also when the solar wind pushes the current of the charged particles from the sun against the magnetic environment around and around the earth, they become entangled with the magnetic fields of the sun and the earth.
Eventually, the magnetic field lines are shot up and rearranged, emitting nearby charged particles. This explosive phenomenon is called magnetic recombination.
Although we cannot see magnetic recombination with our naked eyes, we can see its effects. Occasionally, some turbulent particles travel through the Earth’s atmosphere, where they stimulate the aurora borealis.
Magnetic recombination occurs throughout the universe in places with twisted magnetic fields.
5. Supersonic shocks
On earth, a simple way to change energy is to push something. This often occurs due to collisions, i.e. when the wind moves the trees. But in space, particles transfer energy without touching it. This strange exchange occurs in invisible structures called shocks.
When shocks occur, energy is transferred by plasma waves and electric and magnetic fields. For example, imagine the particles flying in a flock of birds, and if a tail catches the birds in the wind, they fly fast even though they are not pushing anything forward. The particles act in the same way when they suddenly encounter a magnetic field. And the magnetic field can basically push it forward.
Shock waves can occur when objects move at high speeds, that is, faster than the speed of sound.
When supersonic flow encounters a static one, it is known as the arc shock phenomenon, which occurs when the magnetic field of an astronomical object interacts with plasma that flows nearby like sunlight.
Shocks like supernovae active in expelling plasma clouds will appear elsewhere in space. In rare cases, shocks may form temporarily on the ground, and this occurs when bullets and planes travel faster than the speed of sound.
It is noteworthy that these five strange phenomena are common in space. Although some can be cloned in specialized laboratory conditions, they are not often detected under normal conditions on Earth.
NASA is exploring these strange objects in space so that scientists can analyze their properties and provide insights into the complex physics on which our universe is based.
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