Interesting Facts about Space

The outer space has never failed to fascinate us. Here are the some more interesting facts about space that you need to know!

More energy from the sun hits Earth every hour than the planet uses in a year

Unfortunately, solar energy has produced just 1/10 of 1% of the worldwide energy demand due to several factors. Not to mention this type of technology is quite expensive. Nevertheless, demand for solar power has continued to rise.

One million Earths can fit inside the sun

The sun accounts for the most mass of the solar system — 99.8% to be exact! A million Earths are needed to fit inside the Sun.

One million Earths can fit inside the sun

One Venus day is longer than one year

Sounds tricky, doesn’t it? But the truth is that a year in Venus is equivalent to 224.7 days on Earth. However, it takes 243 Earth days for Venus to rotate on its axis for just a single time.

Space is not that far away

The shortest distance known between Earth and the outer space is about 100 kilometers (62 miles). That’s the boundary between Earth and the outer space.

The hottest planet is not the one closest to the sun

Although Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, it is not the hottest planet in our solar system. That’s because it does not have any atmosphere to allow for heat buildup. During daytime, its temperature approaches 427 degrees Celsius, while at night time it drops to a surprising -273 degrees Celsius.

Even more surprising are the temperatures on Venus. Thanks to its atmosphere, its surface temperature can reach up to 500 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest planet in our solar system. Another interesting fact about Venus is that we have reason to believe that it resembled earth billions of years ago.

No one knows the total number of stars

Our estimates for the number of stars in the known universe are extrapolations and guesses. Astronomers estimated the number of stars in our galaxy and then used that number to extrapolate the number of stars in all the galaxies in the known universe. However, this number remains a wild guess since we have no empirical evidence to prove the number of stars in our universe. NASA estimates that currently, the number of stars is uncountable. One of the conservative estimates limits the number of stars to 70 sextillions but then again, it’s just guesswork at best.

Footprints left on the moon will stay there for a long, long time

Our moon lacks water and atmosphere, making it near impossible for materials to erode. The only way things can erode on the lunar surface is by the showers of tiny meteorites that it receives. This means that the set of footprints and equipment left on the moon by Apollo astronauts will be preserved in their original state for hundreds of millions of years. This means they might even outlast humanity itself.

Navigating asteroid fields is not difficult

Contrary to what science fiction movies might have you believe, asteroids in an asteroid belt are spaced too far apart to require dodging or maneuvering from while traveling through one. NASA has an extensive catalog of every asteroid in asteroid belts in our solar system but this data has no bearing on launching of probes.

What will happen if sun suddenly disappeared

You might know that the speed of light is the ultimate limit to speeds in our universe and gravitational waves are no exception to this law. You might already know that it takes light 8 minutes to reach our planet, so if hypothetically speaking, the sun was to disappear all of the sudden, we will still see the sun for the next 8 minutes as it was right before disappearing. What you might not know is, we will also be bound by the sun’s gravity for 8 minutes after it is no longer there. After 8 minutes, our planet will be flung across a tangent line, rocketing in a straight through space.

One of the brightest things in the Universe

A supernova is far, far brighter than a nuclear explosion. Looking at a nuclear explosion from far away is enough to make you go permanently blind. This pales in comparison to a supernova, for instance, when our sun will go supernova it will be millions of times brighter than an atomic bomb explosion and its millions of miles away from Earth!

Our universe is flat

Einstein’s theory of relativity proves that our universe is in fact, flat. The theory of general relativity describes space-time continuum as flat, which is sort of bulged in the presence of matter. Another evidence for a flat universe comes in the form of uniformly distributed cosmic background radiation. If the universe was not flat, the cosmic background radiation would not have been evenly distributed throughout space.

Blackholes will survive heat death of the universe

If it is assumed that our universe is finite, it will come to its end in about 200 billion years, in the form of the heat death of the universe. Blackholes, however, will outlive the universe because they have an average life expectancy of 10^67 years. Once the last star in the universe has burned out, the only thing that will remain are black holes.

Real life shooting stars

The shooting stars you might observe in the night sky are actually meteors entering our atmosphere which leave a trail of light in their wake. However, there are actual “shooting stars” that exist in our universe. They are known as hypervelocity stars.

When a pair of stars orbiting each other are swallowed up by a black hole, one of the stars are spewed out of the black hole which then goes zooming through space at millions of miles per hour.

Diamond planet

55 Cancri E is a planet made out of diamond. This unusual planet is one-third pure diamond, while the rest of it is made of graphite and other silicates. Its surface temperature reaches over 1500 degrees Celsius making the crystallization of carbon into pure diamond possible. If you wish to buy this gargantuan gemstone, it will cost you about 27 nonillion dollars – that’s 27 followed by 30 zeroes.

The largest known reservoir of water in space

About twelve billion light years away from Earth, located near a massive black hole, is a vast cloud of water in its gaseous form. It carries 140 trillion folds the total amount of water on Earth and is hundreds of lightyears wide!

The largest known reservoir of water in space

The moon looks bigger closer to the horizon

It is an optical illusion — when the moon lowers in the sky and brings itself closer to the horizon, it looks bigger than it really is.

There are thousands of other planets right outside our solar system

Yes, it’s not just eight planets in our solar system. But outside the solar system, there are about 4,800 bodies, with 1,800 confirmed as planets and the other 3,000 with the pending confirmation.

The universe is probably 15 billion years old but the estimates vary

It varies on the stars on our galaxy — some are 14 billion years old, and some are 18 billion years old, making these stars either older or younger than the universe.

You grow taller in space

When you are in space, its utter lack of gravity makes your spine to straighten up, making you taller.

99 percent of our solar system’s mass is the sun

The remaining mass is mostly concentrated on Jupiter.

Betelgeuse star against starry sky artistic vision, elements of this image furnished by NASA

A day on Mercury lasts about 59 Earth days

To be exact, a day in Mercury is equivalent to 58 days and 15 hours on Earth. Imagine waiting for a day to end in Mercury! This is quite amazing considering a year in Mercury lasts only 88 days.

Space is absolutely silent

The outer space’s utter lack of atmosphere means that not a single sound can be heard there. Sound waves need an atmosphere for transmission.