Space: The undiscovered country. The final frontier. The last vestige of explorers. And, yes, the setting of Star Trek.
Space is the greatest mystery and, even though it literally surrounds us, it’s the one we ignore the most. When was the last time you sat around and pondered how you’re sitting on a planet in the middle of the biggest “ocean” in existence?
We did some pondering for you. These 19 jaw-dropping facts about space might just have you wanting more from the universe. Just don’t try to build your own Starship Enterprise or anything of the sort. They’re not real… yet.
1.) It takes a proton close to 170,000 YEARS to travel from the center of the sun to the surface, and then only 8 minutes to reach Earth.
2.) Spaghettification is what scientists call the effect of falling through a black hole and stretching out like spaghetti. Seriously.
3.) The sun encompasses up 99.8% of the mass of our solar system, which is 1,989,100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.
4.) Every 14-15 years, some of Saturn’s rings apparently vanish due to their relative thinness to the planet’s body.
5.) Footprints on the moon would last forever if it weren’t for meteoroids, asteroids, and the like. There’s no wind to disturb them.
6.) More solar energy hits our atmosphere every 1.5 hours than we used in all of 2001 combined.
7.) There’s a star trapped in the glare of a supernova for the past 21 years. Given that the supernova is 11 million light years away though, it’s pretty old news.
8.) If you subscribe to the Bing Bang Theory (which was basically proven in recent experiments), then we’re all made from stardust. Every time there was a supernova, newer, more complex atoms were created. These are carbon atoms, which is what we’re composed of.
9.) Scientists confirmed that dung beetles use the Milky Way to navigate. Scientists noticed that the beetles are able to move their dung balls in a straight line when the sky is clear, but cannot when it is overcast.
10.) There’s an asteroid like Saturn in our solar system that has rings called Chariklo.
11.) Jupiter is 2.5 times bigger than all other planets in our solar system combined.
12.) A gas cloud has enough ethanol (alcohol) to fill 400 trillion pints of beer.
13.) Something the size of Mars likely collided with Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, creating the moon.
14.) Our seven fellow planets could fit end to end within our Moon’s orbit around Earth.
15.) As of this writing, we identified 1822 new planets outside our solar system in the last 20 years alone.
16.) Astronomers discovered a giant ring around Saturn in 2009. At a diameter of 300 Saturns end-to-end, scientists believe the source of the materials originate from Saturn’s moon, Phoebe, which orbits within the ring.
17.) There are no sounds in space, or at least none that you can hear. At best, a few atoms might be able to hit your ear drums.
18.) A hexagonal cloud 20,000 miles in diameter exists at Saturn’s north pole.
19.) Space sounds super creepy. Listen to this for yourself…
Congratulations! You now know more about space than 99.7% of the world. Just don’t point out factually inaccurate parts of sci-fi movies when watching it with friends. They may dislike you for it.