1) The farthest you can see with the naked eye is 2.4 million light years away! (140,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.) That’s the distance to the giant Andromeda Galaxy. You can see it easily as a dim, large gray “cloud” almost directly overhead in a clear night sky.
2) When you think you’re standing still remember this fact. Even though you don’t feel it, our entire local group of galaxies is moving at about one million miles per hour toward another galaxy group called the Virgo Cluster.
3) Scientist believe that diamond rains occur on Neptune and Uranus. The heart of these planets may be a layer of diamonds hundreds of miles thick.
4) Where do comets come from? There is a huge cloud of objects made of ice and rock encircling our solar system, called the Oort Cloud. It lies beyond Pluto and extends half way out to the next star. These objects occasionally bump into each other, sending one in towards the sun to become a comet like the recent Hale-Bopp comet.
5) See the rings of Saturn while you can. They slowly wobble up and down over the years as Saturns poles point away from then towards the sun. The rings disappear when edge on to our line of sight. Currently they are almost at their widest point and can be seen even in binoculars and small telescopes.
6) Monks in the 16th century recorded seeing a giant explosion on the side of the Moon. It most likely was a large meteor that slammed into the Moon and left a large crater. It was a good thing the Moon was between us and the meteor!
7) Not all stars are found inside galaxies. Astronomers have found stars moving between the galaxies, which are millions of light years apart. These stars may even have planets, possibly with intelligent life on them. If they do, these beings would see a lonely sky with just one star (its own sun) and a few faint galaxies
8) NASA wakes up Astronauts in space with cheeky and punny songs about space! Astronaut Kay Hire says that the songs offer ‘an opportunity for levity and a bit of shared camaraderie. It tends to stand out as a human element in an otherwise complex technical enterprise.’ Check out a list of some of the songs and sounds they’ve played for astronauts:
Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”
The Beatles’ “Here comes the Sun”
“Fly me to the Moon”
The themes for Star Wars and Star Trek
Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Piccard) announcing the ‘voyage of the Space Shuttle Atlantis’ as they explored the ‘Final Frontier.’
The Muppets’ “Pigs in Space.”
9) NASA cannot bring birds into space because birds need gravity to swallow.
This is why swallowing for a bird largely consists of lifting its head with its beak pointed up, and letting gravity pull the food down.
10) In space, two pieces of metal can weld together with no heat or other substances present!
It’s called Cold Welding and it was dicsovered in the 1940s. And it might sound very impracticle, but it’s become extremely useful in nanoconstruction, tiny parts can be joined without the bulk of adhesives or melting.
11) The minimum amount of people needed to populate a space colony with minimum inbreeding would be 160. A space colony, or a moon or Mars colony, might sound like something pretty cool, until you consider the small available gene pool after a few generations.
Sure, in theory you could just Adam and Eve it up there, starting with only two people. But obviously that introduces problems once you reach generation two. While, according to geneticists, Adam and Eve (or Y Chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve, as they’re called) had the genetic information to produce all the humans on the earth, it wouldn’t be possible to replicate that.
The number, according to geneticists, comes to 160 people- 80 men and 80 women. This of course depends on the variance in genes, so these people would all need to be as distantly related as possible. While some animals are all genetically the same, humans need a pretty big gene pool to not turn out abnormally.
In a colony started of only 2 people, inbreeding would create numerous health problems and likely lead to an extinction of the colonists after enough time. So remember kids: inbreeding bad, large gene pools good.
12) A giant game of cosmic pool was played when the solar system was first formed billions of years ago(as dem teach us). Neptune was hit by an asteroid so big it was knocked sideways on its axis. It orbits with one pole pointed at the sun. Venus was hit so hard it is almost upside down and is the only planet to spin backwards on its axis. And most astronomers believe the Moon was formed when an asteroid almost the size of Mars hit Earth and shot debris into orbit. I wonder who won the game and when is the next tournament? Shouldn’t start in my lifetime sha o.
13) The Soviets landed a space craft on Venus and took pictures of a surface…5 times! It turns out that most of what we know about Earth’s angry sister is derived from the Soviet study of the planet. The only existing images from the surface came from one of their landing crafts.
14) i come from outerspace. Not much of an astonishing fact, everyone knows that.