Mystery Object Found
by Team 25763
At the beginning of this century, space was only a mystery. Now as the century ends, space is still a mystery to astronomers. However, right now there are so many powerful telescopes, researchers are having trouble going through all the data. With the virtual flood of data, researchers are bound to find something new-and they think they did.
Earlier this year, while looking for light signatures that didn't match patterns for any known celestial objects
The mystery object (circled in white)
Credit: George Djorgovski/CalTech
(stars, quasars, galaxies, or other known objects), astronomers found a point of light that has a unique spectrum.
George Djorgovski, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology said, "It has a spectrum unlike anything else I have ever seen. We have combined the literature and asked all kinds of experts, but no one can tell us what it is. It is the first one of something new-and a complete mystery to us." Djorgovski said this on May 31st. On August 21, he was quoted in the New York Times as still being befuddled. Djorgovski was asked if he really had something new, a previously unknown type of object. However, Djorgovski was more cautious this time, saying "We must do everything to rule out the known before we postulate that we have discovered something really and truly new."
The huge volume of data can't be seen as anything but good from a scientific point of view, even though some experts say that a large part of the data may never be looked at.
"This is the dawn of the new era of information-rich astronomy," says Djorgovski. "This unprecedented amount of astronomical information will enable scientists and students everywhere, without access to large telescopes, to do first-rate observational astronomy."
©1999 ThinkQuest Team 25763. All rights reserved.
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