mind blowing facts about space & universe
facts about space
We live on a small, blue planet called Earth. It has a surface of liquid water and rock and is surrounded by a blanket of air called the atmosphere. Space begins at the top of the atmosphere.
It is an unimaginably vast, silent, and largely empty place, but it has many amazing properties.Ever changing and full of action, the universe contains everything that exists: all matter from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy cluster, the emptiness of space, and every single second of time.
1. It would take a modern jet fighter more than a million years to reach the nearest star.
2. A light-year is the distance that light travels in one year. It is about 5.9 trillion, or 5.9 million million miles, (9 trillion km).
3. How big is the universe? No one knows, because we cannot see the edge of it if there is one. All we do know is that the visible universe is at least 93 billion light-years across.
4. In the US, anyone who flies above an altitude of 60 miles (100 km) in a rocket or spacecraft gets a special badge called “astronaut wings.”
5. Our most common name for people who travel into space is “astronauts,” meaning star travelers. The Russians call them “cosmonauts,” meaning travelers through the universe, and the Chinese name is “taikonauts,” from their word for space.
6. A person who stepped out into space without a protective suit would quickly die. He or she would be unable to breathe, but would still have around 10 seconds to reach safety before losing consciousness.
7. Lyman Spitzer (1914–1997) developed the idea of a telescope in space and was instrumental in the design and development of the Hubble Space Telescope.
8. Edwin Hubble (1889–1953) was the first person to realize that there are other galaxies beyond the Milky Way and that these galaxies are moving away from each other as the universe expands.
9. Some gamma ray bursts are so incredibly bright that they can actually be seen with the naked eye. One was spotted in March 2008 in the constellation Bootes, even though it was an astonishing 7.5 billion light-years away.
10. The first radio signals from a distant planet were detected from Jupiter in 1955. Since then, all of the giant gas planets have been shown to produce radio waves.
11. Radio signals can also be bounced off the rocky planets and asteroids.
12. The Milky Way is one of the largest galaxies in a cluster of about 45 galaxies, known as the Local Group. Most of these galaxies have no particular shape and are much smaller than the Milky Way.
13. We can see and measure three dimensions of space—height, width, and depth. Time is a fourth dimension. Scientists believe the universe may have at least six other, hidden, dimensions. These are all curled up on each other and are infinitely tiny.
14. Scientists believe that the universe was born in a huge fireball about 13.7 billion years ago. This “Big Bang” was the beginning of everything: time and space, as well as all the matter and energy in the universe.
15. The universe begins to expand from infinitely tiny to the size of a grapefruit. The huge amount of energy this releases kick-starts the formation of matter and antimatter.
16. There was no “before” the Big Bang because time and space did not exist. After the Big Bang, space began to expand and time began to flow. But neither could start until the other one began. It took scientists years to figure out this mind-boggling fact!
17. It took hundreds of millions of years for stars, galaxies, and planets to start filling the universe. If the universe hadn’t begun to cool, the atoms they are made from would never have formed.
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18. Around 300,000 years passed before the first atoms started to form. This process began when the temperature of the universe dropped to about 3,000 K. In this cooler universe, protons and atomic nuclei were able to capture extremely tiny particles called electrons and become atoms.
19. The Big Bang also created four fundamental forces that affect the universe. These are gravity, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force. Gravity is what keeps planets in orbit around stars.
20. Electromagnetism is linked to electricity and magnetism. The weak force governs how stars shine, while the strong force holds together the protons and neutrons in the nuclei of atoms.
21. Wherever we look in the sky, the universe is full of galaxies huge star systems that are tied together by gravity.
22. The first galaxies were born less than one billion years after the birth of the universe in the Big Bang.
23. HUBBLE DEEP FIELD For 10 days in October 1998, the Hubble Space Telescope stared at a tiny region of space, revealing a view never seen before thousands of galaxies up to 12 billion light-years away.
24. It features many spiral galaxies like our Milky Way, as well as elliptical galaxies and peculiar-shaped galaxies that are involved in collisions.
25. There are two main theories of how galaxies form. In one version, huge clouds of gas and dust collapse to form galaxies
26. Around 28 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Virgo, lies a spiral galaxy with a very bright nucleus.
27. The Large Magellanic Cloud is about 170,000 light-years away from the Milky Way.
28. The Small Magellanic Cloud is about 200,000 light-years away.
29. Light travels through empty space at 186,000 miles a second (300,000 kilometers a second).
30. At this speed, light waves could travel around the world seven times in a single second.