Unsolved mysteries: The enigmas of space

The mysteries of space are as unfathomable as the vastness of space itself.

Space is riddled with inexplicable phenomena that have been known to men for ages and investigated by science for decades. From the search for alien life to the existence of an ancient alien spy satellite to the origin of the universe as we know it – we’ve put together three stories that are informative, spicy and controversial, but also pose questions that remain unanswered. Time to stoke the fire of space mysteries, in plain English, please!

The Fermi Paradox – is anyone there, or not?

A Nobel prize winner went to lunch one day in 1950 and ended a casual conversation about alien life with a probing question, “Where is everybody?”. Scientists, physicists, thinkers, smart people and the guy next door are still scratching their heads for an answer. Named after the Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, The Fermi Paradox refers to the contradiction between the high probability of alien life and the lack of evidence to date that ETs exists.

According to an article in the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute website, Fermi  realised that any civilization with rocket technology and an imperial incentive could rapidly colonise the Galaxy. Within ten million years, every star system could be brought under the wing of empire. Ten million years is not too long compared with Galaxy’s age of approximately ten thousand million years. If aliens have had adequate time to make their presence felt in the Galaxy, there’s no clear indication of their presence. The questions eventually triggered a wave of research, followed by arguments and counter-arguments that continue to date. Interestingly, Fermi’s argument came long before scientists found planets outside of our solar system, of which they have confirmed 3,000, with more being found. The search will continue until we find a definitive answer to where everybody is.

Black Knight Satellite – undying, confounding conspiracy

The study of space has harboured both, theories and conspiracies. One such conspiracy theory has enjoyed a 120-year run and refuses to fade away. UFO hunters call it the Black Knight Satellite, an alien spacecraft or spy satellite to some, orbiting in near-polar orbit of the Earth for about 13,000 years, and NASA is engaged in a cover-up regarding the Dark Knight satellite’s existence and origin. Begs the question, did we have space-gazing capabilities those many years ago, and who first spotted it?

The earliest speculations linked to the Black Knight satellite theory come from radio signals, the most famous of which was a recording of unusual signals by Nikola Tesla in 1889. Tesla’s then speculation that the signals had come from another planet continue to inspire claims.

Theories of Black Knight’s existence hit the next level with the emergence of a series of images taken in 1998 during the STS-88 mission, the first Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The grainy photos released by NASA show a black object hovering in low orbit above Earth. See for yourself.

Image: NASA

A likely explanation for the mysterious object was proposed by Jerry Ross, an STS-88 mission specialist. Ross believes the object is a thermal blanket he dropped on a spacewalk while he his partner were undertaking a spacewalk to attach the American module to Russian module of the ISS.

Ufologist (indeed, such a term exists) Scott Waring reignited the debate on Black Knight’s existence with apparent proof after re-examining a photo from the Apollo 10 mission launched in 1969. Scott explains the evidence in this video posted on his ET Data Base channel on YouTube.

The beginning – did we get big banged?

Bar religious teachings and philosophers who state otherwise, we are given to understand that the universe originated one fine day as the result of a very, very big bang. According to the Big Bang Theory, which was first proposed in the 1920s, the universe and time itself came into existence from a singular point about 13.8 billion years ago. It then expanded and cooled, creating atoms, stars and galaxies – the universe as we know it, but the exact reason for the Big Bang continues to defy our understanding.

We do not currently possess the capabilities to determine the universe’s birth, so our understanding of the Big Bang Theory is based on mathematical formulas and models – in essence, it’s all theoretical. Science has some idea of the universe from the time it was about 300,000 years old, but still nothing concrete about the universe’s first moments, which is why the Big Bang Theory has raised more questions than answers within the scientific community. Until we have clinching evidence on when and how the universe cam forth, any plans for its birthday celebrations must wait. When we do find the answers, they’re quite likely to be more explosive than the theory itself, enough to change our understanding of the beginning of everything.

There’s more action if you’d like to make a space dream come true by playing astronaut. is going to space

Space is the flavour of the week on From June 8 to June 14, we’ll take you on a virtual voyage into deep space with stories, mysteries, do-at-home projects and fun stuff about humankind’s flight to distant skies.

By Romeo Coutinho

Rationalist, truth seeker, full time writer, part time dreamer.

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