When we look up at the stars, we can’t help but feel a of wonder and awe. Space is a and mysterious place, full of incredible phenomena and mind-boggling facts. Here are 12 astonishing facts about space that will truly rock your world:
Neutron stars can spin at a rate of 600 rotations per second: Neutron stars, born from core-collapse supernova explosions, can rotate at astonishing speeds. Some can spin up to 600 times per second.
Space is completely silent: In the vacuum of space, there is no medium for sound waves to travel through. As a result, space is eerily silent. However, planets with atmospheres and air pressure can allow sound to travel.
There is an uncountable number of stars in the known universe: It’s impossible to determine the exact number of stars in the universe. Estimates suggest that there are zillions of uncountable stars, with one study putting the estimate at 70 sextillion.
The Apollo astronauts’ footprints on the moon will last for at least 100 million years: Due to the lack of wind and water erosion on the moon, the footprints and other marks left by the Apollo astronauts will remain preserved for a very long time.
99 percent of our solar system’s mass is the sun: The sun is incredibly massive compared to the rest of our solar system. It accounts for a staggering 99 percent of the system’s total mass and dominates all the planets gravitationally.
More energy from the sun hits Earth every hour than the planet uses in a year: The sun releases an immense amount of energy, and in just one hour, it delivers more energy to Earth than our planet consumes in an entire year.
If two pieces of the same type of metal touch in space, they will bond and be permanently stuck together: In the vacuum of space, a phenomenon called cold welding can occur when two pieces of metal touch. Without air or water separating them, the atoms of the metal pieces join together.
The largest asteroid in our solar system is a mammoth piece of space rock named Ceres: Ceres, sometimes referred to as a dwarf planet, is nearly 600 miles in diameter and accounts for a third of the mass in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.
One day on Venus is longer than one year on Earth: Venus has an extremely slow axis rotation, taking about 243 Earth days to complete one full cycle. In comparison, it takes only 226 Earth days for Venus to complete one revolution around the sun.
Jupiter’s Red Spot is shrinking: The famous Red Spot on Jupiter, a massive spinning storm, has been gradually shrinking over the past few decades. It used to be able to fit about three Earths, but now only one Earth can fit inside.
One of Saturn’s moons, Iapetus, has a distinct two-tone coloration: Iapetus displays a unique two-tone appearance, with one side much darker than the other. This phenomenon is due to its position outside Saturn’s rings, where it gets hit by space debris passing through its orbit.
The position of the North Star will change over time: Earth’s axis undergoes a motion called precession, causing the North Star to shift positions over thousands of years. In about 13,000 years, Polaris will no longer be the North Star, and Vega will take its place.
These astonishing facts about space remind us of the vastness and complexity of our universe. They inspire us to continue exploring and learning more about the wonders beyond our planet.