jokes came easy Thomas Bania “I remember the look on my father’s face when I was in graduate school,” he says. “I told him I’m no expert at anything.”
Most of us can understand why Vania’s father was hesitant about choosing his son’s specialty. The exciting part of the universe is shining stars, exotic planets and icy comets. Isn’t interstellar space just a featureless void?
it’s not. All the atoms in the stars and planets of the universe make up only 4% of normal matter. The remainder is interstellar and intergalactic space, spread thinly in the gaps between stars. In that sense, what we usually think of as “empty space” is not nothing, but almost everything.
Over the past decade or so, researchers like Bania have shown that interstellar space is very fascinating. This so-called nothingness is bursting with exotic molecules, pulsating with radio waves, and split into giant bubbles, each with its own signature. Now, as we begin to map locations within the void more sharply, we are starting to realize that this diversity is very important. on earth.
We are used to living in a dense atmosphere. In one cubic centimeter of air, the volume of the size of