Are you ready to boldly go where only a few have gone before?
Space is humanity’s final frontier. Scientists estimate that the universe is 93 billion light-years in diameter. And they believe it could be bigger.
This article explores the far reaches of the galaxy and offers 5 interesting facts about space.
Read on to learn about the true size of the sun and discover what’s happening this year in the modern space race.
1. The Sun Dominates the Solar System
Did you know that the Earth could fit into the sun 1.3 million times? Or that the sun accounts for 99.8% of the total mass of our solar system?
The sun has a radius of 432,450 miles. It would take 109 Earths to sit side by side to touch its edges. The total circumference is over 2.7 million miles.
Yet compared to other stars in the galaxy the Sun is relatively small.
According to NASA, the sun is only an ‘average-sized’ star. There are stars that measure over 100 times larger.
They would give one heck of a sunburn!
2. Outer Space Contains the Highest Mountains
An asteroid called Vesta hosts the highest mountain. It stands 13.67 miles tall which is over three times the height of Mount Everest.
Mars is also home to huge mountain ranges, the tallest of which is Olympus Mons.
It’s 16 miles high, 374 miles in diameter and has a huge 4-mile high scarp. If you were to watch the sunset from there the light would appear to be blue.
3. 2022 Space Exploration Race
If you thought that space exploration had stopped then think again.
2022 will see NASA flying its Juno spacecraft past Europa, the smallest of Jupiter’s moons. The probe is set to pass Europa on September 29 2022 and will relay photographs back home within hours.
Mars exploration will continue with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos. The Rosalind Franklin rover will deploy to the surface of Mars as part of the ExoMars 2022 project.
Lunar exploration could be experienced by non-NASA astronauts for the first time this year.
Russia, Japan, India, and the US have plans to bring private individuals into space or launch their own rockets. Perhaps someone will experience the joy of walking on the moon like the crew of Apollo 11.
And if you’d like to see those sights for yourself then visit the Space Foundation Discovery Center for a cosmic adventure.
4. Diamonds are Forever
Have you heard of an exoplanet called 55 Cancri e? It’s not the most memorable name but it does have one striking feature — it’s covered in diamonds!
55 Cancri e aka Janssen is a mere 41 light-years away. The molten surface would make it uninhabitable yet its atmosphere sparkles.
However, recent research casts doubt on the initial discovery. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility of finding a planet cast in diamonds, rubies and emeralds!
5. Space is Silent
One of the most distorted space facts used in films is large, noisy explosions.
Many of us have witnessed the Death Star blast into a fiery ball with a deafening bang. But the truth is that any explosion in space would produce a small pop with no sound.
The reason for this is that space is a vacuum.
As there is no air there is nothing for sound waves to travel through. This results in deathly silence. And to quote another movie, ‘in space, no one can hear you scream!’
More Facts About Space and Our Planets
We hope you enjoyed these 5 facts about space. They’re merely the beginning of an infinite journey
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