Hello there! Have you ever wondered about space? How big or small our planet is compared to other planets? How much of the universe are we able to explore? Well.. I have some mind-blowing facts about space that you probably did not know.
10 mind-blowing facts about space that never cease to amaze
Before reading ahead, know that 1 light year means the distance traveled by light speed in a year. (so that you can understand points fully)
The largest known star
The largest known star in the universe is what we call the UY Scuti present in the constellation Scutum. It’s estimated radius is 1.88 x 109 kilometers. That is more than 1700 times than our sun’s radius and more than 5 billion times in volume that of our sun. It is a variable star (means it’s brightness level is variable) which was first discovered in 1860, but it wasn’t until 2012 that we got to know about its true size when seen from a larger telescope in Chile’s desert. It then surpassed VY Canis Majoris (largest known star before 2012) as the largest known star. UY Scuti is approximately 9500 light years away from us. Our own sun appears as a peanut when compared to UY Scuti. Do you think it is one of the mind-blowing facts about space that everyone should know? Share it with your friends.
Lowest temperature possible- The absolute zero
The lowest possible temperature is known to be – 273.15 degrees Celsius. It is called the absolute zero because it means 0 kelvin, an SI unit of temperature in thermodynamics. Scientists have found a temperature of -272 degrees approx 5000 light years away from us. It is the boomerang nebula (a dying star) that is emitting the coldest gases ever recorded, which are only 1 degree hotter than the absolute zero. However, they can create a closer yet temperature to absolute zero artificially. In fact, scientists at MIT have managed to achieve a temperature of 0.45 nanokelvin in the lab. That is really close to the absolute zero.
Largest moon in our solar system
The record for being the largest moon in our solar system is held by Ganymede which is one of the moons of Jupiter with a diameter of 5,268 km. For a long time, it was believed that the largest moon in our solar system was Titan (5,151 km in diameter), one of Saturn’s moons. Ganymede is the only moon to have a magnetic field and it’s diameter is larger than the planet mercury’s. Interestingly, Titan is the only other object (apart from earth, of course) in space that showed us definite proof of surface water bodies. Titan has its own atmosphere, that is itself a mind-blowing fact. Moons usually don’t have atmospheres.
According to the radiometric age-dating, our planet earth is approximately 4.54 billion years old.
One of the biggest breakthroughs in finding potentially habitable planets
In 2017, NASA Spitzer Space Telescope discovered 7 exoplanets (planets that revolve around a different star than ours). This system of 7 planets is named Trappist 1, after the Trappist telescope in Chile because it was the first one to find 2 of the seven planets. All these 7 planets are capable of having water. Moreover, 3 of them are present in the habitable zone (a distance from the sun, where liquid water is possible). Also, these planets are too close to each other that if you stand on one of them, you could see other planets in the sky. The sun of TRAPPIST 1 is a small cool red dwarf. Trappist 1 is located 40 light years from earth. Interestingly, A planet about 4.5 light years away from us known as Proxima Centauri b, which revolves around its sun called Proxima Centauri is the closest exoplanet, which was also thought to support life potentially. But, later when the scientists discovered the solar winds’ speed on this planet, it became highly unlikely to support life.
The surface temperature of the sun is 5505 degree Celsius. And, the core the sun could be a as high as 15 million degrees Celsius.
Great Red Spot on Jupiter
Have you noticed a red spot in Jupiter’s picture? Well..that red spot is a hurricane that has always been there, with winds up to 270 miles per hour. The whole spot is bigger than twice of the earth. For 400 years that we have been looking at Jupiter, the red spot has always been there. A storm that never rests, isn’t one of the mind-blowing facts about space?
More than 24 hours in a day
Did you know that tidal effects of the moon cause a decline in earth’s rotation speed? In the last century, earth’s rotation has slowed down and added about 1.7 milliseconds to a day. We have 2.3 milliseconds more in a day than we did in the 18th century. It is said that there were only 23 hours in a day when dinosaurs walked the earth.
How big is our galaxy?
Our galaxy consists of more than 100 billion stars (could be much more massive than our sun). Our solar system is just among the 100 billion other solar systems present in a milky way. The whole milky way has a diameter of 100,000 light years. We are 25,000 light years away from the center of our galaxy. And it takes our solar system 250 million years to complete one revolution of the center of the milky way. Yes, solar systems revolve around the center of their galaxy. Planets revolve around the sun, and the sun along with planets revolves around the center of the galaxy. It is just our galaxy, there are billions of other galaxies out there. We are even smaller than you can possibly imagine. Surely is one of the mind-blowing facts about space.
How many moons do our neighbors have?
Mercury and Venus have 0 moons because they are too close to the sun to have one. Mars has 2 moons named Phobos and Deimos. Jupiter has whopping 69 moons. Saturn also has 62 moons that have complex orbits and sizes from very small to the Titan being it’s biggest. The smallest moon of Saturn is Mimas with a diameter of just 396 kilometers. Uranus and Neptune have 27 and 13 moons respectively. Neptune’s one moon (names Triton) is equivalent to the size of the planet Pluto itself.
If you found these mind-blowing facts about space fascinating, then make sure to share this article with your folks and let them also know some of the coolest facts about space.