Pretty much everyone loves space, and EVERYONE enjoys facts, so when you put the two together, there’s no way to go wrong!
If you think I’m correct, you’re going to love these favorite facts about space that people shared.
1. It could happen anytime.
Due to gravitational time dilation, from the perspective of a black hole’s event horizon, the event that created it only happened moments prior.
But from our perspective, black holes are some of the oldest, and longest living objects in the universe.
And because a singularity is believed to be a point of infinite density, time is infinitely dilated at that point. So from the perspective of the singularity, it exists at only one, infinitely small amount of time.
With this in mind, a black hole would not be an object, it would be an event. More specifically, it’d be an explosion with such a high energy density that it warped the space and time around it, and slowed it down from our perspective.
2. It’s sort of romantic.
This is a cliche but I love the fact that most elements were formed inside the burning furnace of stars.
Everything that exists, you, me, ants, bananas, rocket ships, are literally made of remnants of exploding stars.
3. That seems like a terrible way to die.
So far, only 3 people have actually died in space.
Russian cosmonauts who had technical difficulties disconnecting from the space station Salyut 1, opening the airlock of their shuttle (Soyuz 11), exposing them all to the vacuum of space
4. Those are not unpleasant smells.
I’ve always like that even though there is no air, space “stinks.”
Various astronauts have described it as metallic, sweet welding fumes, burnt brake pads, walnuts, and gunpowder.
5. Nothing stays the same.
If you were to scale the universe down so that the sun was the size of the period at the end of this sentence, the nearest star would be 4 miles away.
The Big Bang was not an explosion of matter, rather it was an expansion of space itself. Everything is getting farther away from everything else, as all space is expanding. There is no center of the universe.
6. Tucking all of those away for later.
Light doesn’t always travel at the speed of light.
“Speed of light” is a bit of a misnomer, which has to be caveated by saying “in a vacuum”. Light travels slower in other substances. A more accurate term would be the “speed of causality”, as it’s the fastest speed at which anything in the universe can possible affect anything else in the universe.
Bonus fact: The blue color of Cherenkov Radiation is a sonic boom that occurs when electrons break the speed of light* barrier.
*Speed of light in water
I just wanna know what NASA’s protocol is for an astronaut dying in space.
Do they send the body back to earth on a little pod?
Do they send the body out the airlock to circle the earth forever?
8. Not shocked Hollywood gets it wrong.
most of what Hollywood portrays about the vacuum of space is just plain wrong.
Space isn’t cold, nor is it hot…by definition of a vacuum, it’s neither. there’s 3 ways something cools or warms: conduction, convection, and radiation. in space the first two are not applicable because there’s nothing to conduct/convect. so the only way something can heat up is by absorbing radiation like sunlight, and the only way it can cool is by radiating it’s own heat, which is a very slow process. Cooling is actually a much bigger problem for astronauts than heating.
Hollywood also loves to portray the explosive nature of space. Open a hatch, and your whole body explodes…and again that’s not true. Again, by definition space is zero atmospheres of pressure, here on earth we are under 1 atmosphere. the difference is enough to kill you, but not very dramatically.
a hole in a space station could literally be patched with duct tape, or by placing a hand over it.
9. Nothing is what it seems.
The age of the universe is not a single number.
Since gravity affects the flow of time, in parts of the universe with more mass than average, the universe is younger than in areas with less mass than average.
10. I love storms!
Almost every planet in the solar system, besides Earth, Mercury, and Pluto, has at least one permanent/semi permanent storm. Venus’ south pole has a hurricane for half of its year. Saturn has an earth sized vortex on its south pole and a hexagon shaped vortex on its north pole.
Jupiter has five vortices orbiting a central vortex on one of its poles. Both Neptune and Uranus have polar vortices. Mars has storms often on its poles, but less often than other planets. Earth seems to be the only planet with a dense atmosphere without a semipermanent storm on one of its poles.
Earth’s storms are actually the most tame of all the planets in both size and speed in general.
11. The last blissful 8 minutes of our lives.
If the sun dies, it’ll take 8 minutes for us to realize.
And then the fun REALLY begins.
12. Just pretend.
You could fit all the planets in the solar system in the space between Earth and the Moon.
But not the sun. That’s too big.
13. That seems impossible.
Pluto didn’t make a full revolution around the sun (which takes ~248 years) between being discovered (1930) and questioning of its planetary status (~25% – 1992) or official de-listing (~30% – 2006).
14. How can a planet float?
Saturn’s density allows for it to float on water, if you happened to have a not so small bathtub.
15. Hahaha space jokes.
Saturn is closer to the Sun than it is to Uranus.
Or as I heard someone put it: “Saturn is closer to my anus than Uranus.”
16. Way out there.
There are 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and that number is likely to at least double as Hubble goes further and observes more of the
on a mere speck within the Milky Way galaxy, and that there are possibly 199,999,999,999 other galaxies out there, each separated by millions of light years. The enormity of the universe is mind-boggling.
17. Now I need to know why.
You could survive 90 seconds unprotected in space. But a chimpanzee can last up to 3 minutes.
18. There’s always gotta be one.
Venus spins backward.
Whatever the direction of the other planets when they are rotating, Venus rotates the exact opposite way.
19. It’s hard to wrap your mind around.
After traveling since 1977, Voyager 1 has now reached about 20 Light-HOURS distance from the Sun.
Vast does not begin to describe the Universe.
20. This makes me uncomfortable.
If there was air in space that sound was able to travel through, at the sun’s surface it would emit a deafening 290 db (which is so ‘loud’ that it pretty much transcends sound and just turns into a pressure wave).
But at the earth’s surface, it would be about 120 db which is about as loud as standing a couple meters away from an active jackhammer.
Where it gets spooky though, is that if the sun were to suddenly disappear, not only would it take a full 8 minutes for us to notice the lack of sunshine or gravity, but because the speed of sound is so comparatively slow, we would still hear the sun for another 13.8 years.
21. Also you couldn’t swim in it.
There are two confirmed oceans in the solar system. One on Earth, and one on Saturn’s moon Titan.
The biggest difference is Titan is about -180 C. The ocean is liquid methane. It even has waves that get as high as (wait for it) a couple centimetres!
22. Kind of like my heart.
I know there’s an anomaly called the Boötes Void. It’s a gargantuan region of space with not a whole lot of stuff inside of it, right in the middle of an ocean of galaxies. It’s kind of scary, in an existential way.
23. Believing without seeing.
Neptune was discovered using math. A man named Alexis Bouvard made some predictions on Uranus’s future position using Newton’s laws of gravity, but when it was later observed it was found to be slightly off.
Urbain Le Verrier found that if he assumed there was another planet further out, the discrepancy would be explained and used math to predict where it could be found.
Finally, a man named Johann Galle looked in the spot Le Verrier specified, and lo and behold, there was Neptune.
24. What happens when everyone grows up?
The universe is still in it’s very infancy. In fact, according to some studies, despite an almost infinite number of planets, 92% of all planets there will ever be, have not even been formed yet. the universe is in fact so young, relatively speaking, that several types of stars have have not even had enough time to exist yet.
Blue Dwarfs: Red dwarfs that have started spending the last of it’s hydrogen. The first of this kind of star, is not expected to exist until a trillion years in the future. Considering our universe is only around 13 billion years, It is going to take some time until we spot the first blue Dwarf, The blue dwarf will eventually turn into a white dwarf.
Black Dwarfs: A white dwarf can be formed any number of ways, and we have observed a lot of them. But, When a white dwarf star cools down, is starts the process of becoming a black dwarf. This process can theoretically take “As little” as a quadrillion years, or or as much as 37 quadrillion years. This is the ultimate fate of our sun, and the process is going to take thousands of times longer than the universe has even existed so far.
25. This is all blowing my mind.
Neutron stars are so dense that a teaspoon of material from one would weigh around 10 million tons.
That’s nothing. The deeper you get into a neutron star, the stranger the matter becomes. You end up with layers of (In order) Nuclear Spaghetti, Nuclear Lasagna, Nuclear Bucatini, and then a Nuclear Swiss Cheese, based on the compression of neutrons from a quasi-liquid state into solid-ish forms by superlative pressures near the heart of the star, just outside the point where they would be pressed into a singularity.
26. You still have time to blind yourself.
Being able to see a total solar eclipse is a sheer coincidence of timing.
The moon is just large enough and just far enough away from Earth to appear to be the exact size of the sun during a total eclipse (when it covers the entire disc of the sun).
Since the moon is slowly moving away from Earth, one day it will no longer appear large enough to fully cover the sun and there will be no more total eclipses.
This won’t happen for 600 million years though, so don’t panic.
27. Not to scare you…
The Sun loses about 5.5 million tonnes of mass every second, or about 174 trillion tonnes of mass every year.
The Sun has 5 billion more years or so to live. In 1 billion years, its luminosity and temperature will rise so much that all life on Earth will die.
Near the end of its lifespan, the Sun begins fusing Helium instead of Hydrogen, resulting in it expanding beyond the orbits of Mercury and Venus, and then releasing its outer layers, leaving behind only a small White Dwarf star.
28. There goes that career choice on Mars.
In a vacuum, you don’t need welding materials to get two metals to fuse – they will do it on their own if you place them close enough
29. Not one but two.
most of the visible stars in the night sky are binary stars, two stars orbiting each other
30. Is that even a real number?
About 6.63 quadrillion earths can fit in the largest (discovered) star.
31. Where are they all coming from?
Jupiter has over 70 moons, and well on the way to 80 as of today!
32. I would not have wanted to be in their shoes.
I can’t say this is my “favorite” space fact (for obvious reasons), but it’s absolutely amazing and heartbreaking.
There is verifiable evidence that at least three astronauts survived the initial explosion of the Challenger in 1986.
Each astronaut was equipped with a personal emergency air pack, and when the shuttle cabin was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean, at least three of these air packs were manually activated.
33. If people knew that I think more of them would want to be astronauts.
There are clouds of alcohol floating in space.
I’m so happy I read every single one of these.
If you’ve got another good one, don’t be afraid to drop it in the comments!