Scientists Just Found the Loneliest Galaxy in the Entire Universe


What’s the most lonely place you can imagine
right now? An abandoned building? A deserted island? A cat at a dog show? Well yeah, but let’s ramp up the scale beyond
the skies and look at the loneliest places in the Universe – the Void Galaxies. It appears that astronomers may have just
found the most solitary of them all. The Void Galaxy. Sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi
movie, right? But, that name suggests only the strangest
placement of such galaxies. They’re alone and surrounded by enormous
volumes of absolutely nothing. Just a dark void, with no stars, no planets,
no matter at all. SO it doesn’t matter – ha! Forgive me. You may argue that everything in the Universe,
like for example our own solar system, is surrounded by vast expanses of dark space,
consisting of almost nothing, but I’m talking about a whole other level of “nothing”
here. I’m talking about things like the Boötes
void, which is nearly 330 million light-years in diameter! That’s like 132 times the distance between
us and our nearest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. And it has little to no matter in it! Even if mysterious dark matter was there,
which we can’t see, it would emit radiation. And there’s almost no radiation coming from
great voids. But in this “almost nothingness” of great
voids “almost” is the key word. They still contain matter, just a lot less
than anywhere else. The Boötes void, or as it’s also called:
The Great Nothing, was proved to have about 60 galaxies. And that’s only the assumed number. Some estimations propose that The Great Nothing
must have at least 2,000 galaxies in it. But 2,000 galaxies in a space as big as the
Boötes void is close to nothing at all. That’s nowhere near what we consider normal
for most other places in the Universe. Even finding those void galaxies is extremely
tough. But we surely shouldn’t complain – our
skies are rich, filled not only with the light of stars from our own galaxy, but also with
light from other galaxies around us. We found out a long time ago that our galaxy
isn’t the only one. Even in the time of ancient Greece. One particularly interesting part of Hercules’
legend may be a testament to that. In this legend, Zeus laid his son Hercules
next to sleeping Hera, so Hercules could drink her milk and become immortal. Hera woke up and pushed Hercules away, and
some of the milk he was drinking spilled and became a slightly fainted band of light in
the skies. This band of light is the galaxy. Even the word itself roughly translates as
“milky one”. But to be fair, this murky light was just
coming from a visible part of our own galaxy. The first scientific observation of another
galaxy is of the Andromeda galaxy, and it was made by the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi
in the 10th century. He noted Andromeda as a “small cloud”
and later similarly described another galaxy, that would one day be known to us as the Large
Magellanic Cloud. Today we’re able to conclude that there
are more than 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. And they’re collected in even more massive
structures known as clusters and superclusters, which in their turn form galaxy filaments. This natural tendency of galaxies to group
into organized megastructures is exactly the reason why we see voids between filaments. And it seems like some unique galaxies were
late to the universal party and formed in voids from the leftover gas that was still
there. One of these lonely galaxies is the newly
found MCG+01-02-015. It’s situated deep in the void. Just try to imagine, if we lived at this distance
from any other galaxy, we wouldn’t have known that there’s another galaxy in the
Universe until 1960. That’s how long it would take the light
from another galaxy to reach this lonely place, situated in the great cosmic void. Until that time, anything outside of it would
be invisible, as if it didn’t exist at all. This newly found galaxy found itself in a
strange position because of the Universal expansion after the Big Bang. You see, the presumable cause of the existence
of the Universe wasn’t a homogenous process, and so inconsistencies in it led to the formation
of voids and galactic filaments. Even if you light a match, at the very first
moment you can see how a chemical reaction produces a force that pushes matter outward
from the match itself, like a micro-explosion. But this force doesn’t push in every direction
equally; in some places it’s stronger than others. Once again, it’s a matter of scale, and
the Big Bang was huge. At that time, all the matter in the Universe
was concentrated in a tiny space. And then it exploded, pushing all that matter
in all directions. We observe the results of this explosion to
this very day in the expansion of the Universe. The further the matter goes from the initial
explosion, the more the distance between different parts of this matter. This means that even the tiniest fluctuation
in the process of the Big Bang could possibly become the birthplace of the hugest space
void of our days. Combine it with the magnetic nature of all
matter, pulling all of it together, and you have a picture of the Universe we observe
today. Galaxies collected into clusters and filaments
that are separated from each other by vast volumes of a pure void. Void Galaxies may be the strangest type of
galaxies in terms of their origin, but in the vast space of the Universe, there are
a lot of other galactic scale miracles. For example, there’s one galaxy called the
Sombrero Galaxy. It’s not hard to guess why. This lenticular galaxy from the constellation
of Virgo is 31 million light-years away from us, and it’s only 30% the size of the Milky
Way. It has a huge bulge right in the center of
it. This bulge is formed by the effect of a super-massive
black hole, located in the nucleus of the Galaxy. It also collected all the hydrogen gas and
ice in the so-called dust lane, which encircles the central bulge. The combination of this dust ring on the edge
and the bulge in the center provided this galaxy with its funny name. There are also galaxies that are interesting
because of their rapid star generation and supernova explosions. This makes galaxies look stunning, bursting
with colors of all kind. The most notable of those is the Southern
Pinwheel Galaxy. It looks like an enormous whirlpool of pink,
blue and white. There are about 8 active supernovas in this
galaxy, and the pink color highly suggests the constant formation of newborn stars. If our galaxy is milky, then this one certainly
dropped some strawberries in the mix. Another wonder of the Universe takes the form
not just of one galaxy, but of two that collide with each other. There’s the Tadpole Galaxy that has a large
visible tail which formed when a larger galaxy literally merged with a smaller one. Or Antennae Galaxies, that have been colliding
with each other for about 600 million years now. About half of that time, merging galaxies
shoot out stars and clouds of dust pushed by gravitational forces, and these stars form
something that looks like the antennas of an insect. Another example of a galactic crush is the
Porpoise Galaxy that looks like a dolphin! What looks like the shining eye of this “dolphin”
is, in fact, the core of the galaxy. But, the process we’re looking at is quite
brutal. Two galaxies colliding with each other, while
one of them appears to be much denser and has a huge gravitational force at its disposal. With this immense power, it shatters and bends
another galaxy. Knowing this, it’s easy to imagine how the
shape of this galaxy has changed. These types of strange galaxies are especially
intriguing because we know that our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is going to collide with the
Andromeda galaxy one day. Don’t panic! This won’t happen for another 4.5 billion
years. Let’s cross our fingers that at that point,
we’ll still be around to watch the show from a safe distance on some other cool planet. Presumably, every star affected by this process
will be too far away from another, so they won’t collide. But gravitational forces will be huge, and
some stars will be pulled out of the new resulting galaxy, that’s already nicknamed Milkdromeda. Wow, Milkdromeda – gee, that sounds kind
of like a new brand of cookie! There’s no way to count all the wonders
that we may eventually find in the Universe. From galaxies in the middle of nowhere, to
galaxies that can’t evenly share space between each other and start to fight for it! What type of galaxies do you find the least
probable and the most amusing? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go a million light-years
away just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

3 comments

  1. Lonely place: Cat and dog show… I literally died within less than 30 sec of the video ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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