(RepublicanPress.org) – The original Star Trek episodes began by declaring that space is “the final frontier,” and perhaps the show was correct. For all that science knows about Planet Earth, outer space continues revealing new mysteries.
A perfect case in point is the recent discovery of a gigantic sphere-shaped empty cavity located between a pair of well-known molecular clouds of dust and gas. The first cloud, Taurus, lies about 400 light-years from the Earth. The second one, Perseus, hovers about 1,000 light-years away.
Astronomers have discovered a giant spherical void in space that extends for nearly 500 light years and reveals “unprecedented” insights about the births and deaths of stars. https://t.co/kZkzstk2U6
— VICE (@VICE) September 22, 2021
Scientists named the cavity the Per-Tau shell, and it extends for almost 500 light-years, representing a massive expanse. A light-year spans nearly 5.9 trillion miles, and a space that large should contain billions of stars. However, it’s virtually empty, raising questions among astronomers and other scientists.
Curiously, the Per-Tau shell isn’t the first instance of the discovery of an empty void. In fact, scientists have discovered several, the most well-known being the Boötes void. It spans roughly 330 million light-years.
A recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters addresses some questions regarding the relevance of these cavities. Scientists have theorized that the eventual death of stars, known as supernovas, triggers the formation of molecular clouds. Those gaseous clouds eventually give rise to the formation of new stars. Scientists believe the Per-Tau shell could represent such a phenomenon in action.
Scientists hope this discovery might help them learn more about both the death and the origins of stars.
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