Published: July 2, 2016

Venus is recognized as being the closest related planet to Earth in our solar system because of their similarities in size, mass, and density. One major difference is the distance to the sun. This results in the planet’s carbon dioxide gases to have a runaway effect and trap enormous amounts of heat within the planet’s atmosphere. Another difference is its lack of oceans. Since Venus is actually within the Habitable Zone, it could have had oceans; recently scientists have come up with an explanation why Venus doesn’t. They theorize that since Venus’s electric field is 5-10 times as great as Earth’s, this force could have created an “electric wind”. This immense amount of energy could have the power to break down the components of water and carry them into space. It may seem strange that such a force can remove the water from a planet, but as Professor Andrew Coates from the University of College London states, “we found that over 100 metric tons per year escapes from Venus by this mechanism”. Nevertheless, Venus’s electric field can’t even be closely related to other forces in the universe.

                Astronomers are turning their telescopes to a supermassive black hole 26 million light years from Earth. Black holes, with their gravity able to affect stars hundreds of thousands of light years away, have always been the symbol of death as not even light can escape them. Quite the opposite is happening with this particular black hole, though. With so much energy suddenly flowing into this void, an outgas of material was produced. Described as the black hole’s “burp”, this wave of material could actually go on to give birth to new stars, and who knows, these new stars could become rogue stars that roam intergalactic space outside of a galaxy.

Studies show that about half of the stars in our universe could be rogue stars. In order for these stars to have the speed to leave their galaxies, though, certain events would have to take place. One of the ways stars can obtain escape velocity is by being part of a binary system. When one star is orbiting another, and one explodes in a supernova, the other one can be ejected outward. Similarly, if one gets within the reach of a black hole, it might be pulled toward it while the other gets repelled from the action. Lastly, the most common way that stars leave their galaxies are through galaxy collisions. When two galaxies collide, stars are thrown out in every direction with incredible speeds. These rogue stars could possibly start in one galaxy and be thrown into another. Such a transformation could add to the Theory of Panspermia. This theory states “life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, comets, planetoids, and, also, by spacecraft in the form of unintended contamination by microorganisms”. These rogue stars could be one of the ways life can be transported throughout the universe!