Four recent findings have redefined our place in space, revealing that the cosmic universe we find ourselves in is vaster, stranger and altogether more wondrous than we had known. “The Search for Planet X” describes the mounting evidence that a “super Earth” up to 10 times as massive as our own world may lurk beyond Pluto. “Our Place in the Cosmos” depicts one of the largest known structures in the universe—an extraordinarily giant conglomerate of galaxies that includes our own Milky Way. “The Emptiest Place in Space” recounts the recent discovery, farther out, of a “supervoid” extending 1.8 billion light-years across that is surprisingly devoid of matter. And in one of the most talked-about findings of the year, scientists are viewing our cosmic surroundings with a new set of eyes thanks to the first detection of gravitational waves—products of colliding black holes.
This article was originally published with the title "Cosmic Wonders" in SA Special Editions 25, 5s, 4-5 (December 2016)