If you think that space exploration is as spectacular as in science fiction, you are right. There are things up in space that that quite out-of-this-world if you’ll excuse the pun.
Some things are spectacular, and then some things are almost inconceivable. Nevertheless, they are all facts – which we are here to tell you all about.
Let’s talk about the wildest facts about space that will completely change the way you perceive the universe.
The Stars Make Sounds
Stars provide one of the best visual experiences known to man. However, they are not all mute images. Stars produce sound! There is a phenomenon called “starquakes” which basically translates into a star having vibrations. The vibrations produce sounds. Much like a “musical instrument“, stars produce sounds that cannot travel to us because they are too far. Sound is then trapped inside the outer layers of the celestial body, which looks like vibrations to distant viewers.
Astronomers from the University of Birmingham and NASA have successfully reconstructed sounds that one star makes. As they explained, it sounds like a low hum that resembles wind blowing over a microphone. Think about that the next time you watch the skies!
Martian Sunsets are Blue
We must finally get used to the fact that nothing outside of Earth is Earth-like. Not even sunsets! For instance, sunsets exist on Mars as well, but they are nothing like our sunsets. Martian sunsets are, in fact, blue.
NASA gave us an explanation for this bizarre occurrence, which turns out, isn’t bizarre at all. The dust in the atmosphere on Mars contains minuscule particles that allow blue light to enter the atmosphere there better. That is why there are more blue hues in the sunsets rather than yellow-orange-red colors. Go figure.
Timeless Footprints, Quite Literally
If you were to take a walk on the Moon one day and then return to Earth, your footprints would remain there forever. The explanation behind this lies in the slower rock erosion on the Moon. Okay, your footprints might not stay there exactly for all eternity – but up to 100 million years, yes.
Space is big, but that doesn’t mean it’s unregulated. Space is, according to international space laws, a communal area. It belongs to everyone if we follow the guidelines.
However, if you break the rules, you might end up as a space criminal. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is there to ensure that the universe remains a free territory. You are not allowed to bring weapons of mass destruction with you if you decide to visit the orbit. If you choose to explore the universe, you should do that by way of a ‘peaceful mission’, not a conquest. So, you see, there are rules even for the extra-terrestrial territories.
Higher than Mount Everest
Mount Everest might be the highest mountain on Earth, but it’s not the tallest mountain that we know about. Olympus Mons is the highest mountain that humanity has discovered so far, and it’s nearly 3 times higher than Mount Everest.
The only issue that we might have with Olympus Mons is that it’s on Mars. The peak of this Martian mountain is 25km high, and it covers an area of 114,000 m².
Jupiter and His Moons
Mercury and Venus have no Moons. In fact, they are the only two planets that have no natural satellites orbiting around them. However, Jupiter has more than enough to compensate for that.
Jupiter has 79 Moons that are known to man. You would need a year to discover them all, probably due to the planet’s rotation. However, if you really want to see one, look for Ganymede. This moon is 5,262 km in diameter, which makes it visible with only a pair of binoculars. For comparison’s sake, Ganymede is bigger than Mercury.
The Sun Also Rotates
This is not a mind-blowing fact, but it is surprising how many people do not know that the Sun also rotates. It rotates, although we cannot really spot the differences – it’s kind of hard to look at it.
Nevertheless, diligent scientists and astronomers have discovered that it takes twenty-five to thirty-five days for the Sun to rotate. We only need one day to revolve around the Sun – but the Sun requires a little bit longer than that.
Naming the Planet Earth
Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has a regular name. Think about it. Other planets – and their moons – have mythological names. Ancient Greeks and our scientists named them after mighty gods.
But what about Earth? Well, the situation with our home planet is slightly different. The origin of the name stems from Old English and Old German. A literal translation of the term is ‘ground’, which is somewhat unsurprising. Still, it’s a cool fact to remember.
The USA Is Larger than the Moon – and Pluto
Poor Pluto, everyone rejects it as a planet. As we all know, the dispute about its planetary status lies in the question of size. Pluto is in the Kuiper’s Belt, an area populated by some massive celestial bodies. Given that Pluto is mostly made of ice, today we recognize it as a dwarf planet.
But it is still small. It’s so tiny that two Pluto planets can fit into the USA. Moreover, the Moon is bigger than Pluto as well. We must admit that finding things bigger than Pluto is a fun and easy endeavor.
We all know about black holes. An area of space-time that has exceptional gravity pulls that it’s impossible to avoid getting sucked into it is a well-known phenomenon. Not even light can get out! Spotting one is difficult as there is no light around to signal the presence of a black hole.
However, there is one phenomenon that is even harder to spot. So hard that no one is sure that they exist! White holes are areas of space-time that we cannot enter, but things from within can get out. When we say things, we mean matter and light. In other words, it’s the opposite of black holes. The only problem with white holes is that no one can prove that they exist. They are still in the field of mathematical predictions and hypothesis. But who knows, maybe one day we really stumble upon one!