19 Facts about the Space

1. Brown Dwarfs

Brown dwarfs are sometimes referred to as “failed” stars. They are too low in mass to fuse atoms at their cores, and thus don’t burn with the fires, that keep stars like our sun shining steadily for billions of years. Instead, these objects cool and fade with time, until what little light they do emit is at infrared wavelengths.

The Y’s are the coldest members of the brown dwarf family. One of the Y dwarfs, called WISE 1828+2650, is the record holder for the coldest brown dwarf, with an estimated atmospheric temperature cooler than room temperature, or less than about 80ºF (25ºC).

2. Diamond Planets

The planet — called “55 Cancri e” — has a radius twice Earth’s, and a mass eight times greater, making it a “super-Earth.” It is one of five planets orbiting a sun-like star, 55 Cancri, that is located 40 light years from Earth yet visible to the naked eye in the constellation of Cancer. Studies estimates that at least a third of the planet’s mass — the equivalent of about three Earth masses — could be diamond.

3. Saturn’s rings will disappear

It is believed that Saturn’s rings will one day disappear. They will either disperse (spread out) into space or get sucked into the planet by its pull of gravity.

4. Space Junk

Decades of launches have left Earth surrounded by a halo of space junk. As of 2009, about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm (2.0 in) are tracked, with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 200 km altitude. Objects larger than a coffee cup, which threaten working missions with catastrophic collision. Even a 1 cm nut could hit with the force of a hand grenade.

5. [email protected]

[email protected] (“SETI at home”) is an Internet-based public volunteer. Its purpose is to analyze radio signals, searching for signs of extra terrestrial intelligence, and is one of many activities undertaken as part of SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence).

Anybody with an at least intermittently Internet-connected computer can participate in [email protected] by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

6. Supermassive Black Hole

A supermassive black hole (SMBH) is the largest type of black hole. Possibly all galaxies are inferred to contain a supermassive black hole at their centers. In the case of our galaxy, the SMBH with a estimated 4.1 million solar masses, is believed to correspond with the location of Sagittarius A*, just 26,000 light-years from the Solar System.

7. Earth Marble

The event horizon of the Earth is about the size of a marble. This is how much you would have to compress the Earth to turn it into a black hole. A black hole doesn’t have to be very massive, but it does need to be very compact!

8. Neutron Stars

Neutron stars are the densest and tiniest stars known to exist in the universe; although having only the diameter of about 10 km (6 mi), they may have a mass of several times that of the Sun. Neutron stars spin around as rapidly as 642 times a second.

9. Solar Energy

Every hour the Sun beams onto Earth more energy than the planet uses in a year.

10. George’s Star

Uranus had been observed on many occasions before its recognition as a planet, but it was generally mistaken for a star or a comet, and was originally called George’s Star.

11. Cold Welding Myth

In 2006, Henry Spencer stated that the phenomenon of spontaneous cold welding in outer space is “basically a myth”, pointing out that “there are no documented cases of it actually occurring in orbit, except in experiments deliberately designed to provoke it (with susceptible materials, great care to avoid contamination, and deliberate mechanical removal of oxide layers, etc.)”. One source of difficulty is that cold welding does not exclude relative motion between the surfaces that are to be joined. This allows the broadly defined notions of galling, fretting, sticking, stiction and adhesion to overlap in some instances.

12. Silence

In empty space, there is no air, and what we call “sound” is actually vibrations in the air, so all of space is completely silent.

13. 99.86%

Sun’s mass is 99.86% of the total mass of Solar System.

14. Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons is a large shield volcano on the planet Mars and the second tallest mountain in the Solar System (the tallest is Rheasilvia on 4 Vesta). By one measure, it has a height of nearly 22 km (14 mi).

15. 93% Stardust

The Earth and everything on it, including the oceans, atmosphere, and life itself, are composed largely of material that was once stardust, and later incorporated into the solar system as it formed. Scientists have established that every element in the periodic table aside from hydrogen is essentially stardust, so to determine how much of the body is made up of stardust, they have to know how many hydrogen atoms are in the body, then they can say that the rest is stardust. It turns out that after calculations, the scientists conclude that 93% of the mass in the body is stardust, forged in the fiery belly of a star what lived and died before the Sun was born.

16. Hot Ice

30 lightyears away in the constellation Leo, Gliese 436 b is a planet that as the size of Neptune. The planet also happens to be covered in hot ice – though the ice isn’t anything like what we’re used to. The extreme pressure of the planet forces the water to stay frozen, even though the temperature exceeds 250°C (540°F).

17. Permanent Foot

If you ever set foot on the moon, your footprints will probably stay there for at least 100 million years. There is no wind on the moon to blow the footprints away and there is no water to wash them away.

18. Dwarf Planets

It is estimated that there are hundreds to thousands of dwarf planets in our Solar System, however the International Astronomical Union (IAU) currently recognizes only five: Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

19. Hottest Planet

Most people often think that it would be Mercury, as it’s the closest planet to the sun, but Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System. This is because the atmospheric pressure at Venus surface is 92 times that of Earth’s. With a mean surface temperature of 462°C (863°F).