Space is so unfathomably large that if you sit down and try to comprehend it you can feel your brain start to wrinkle. From floating pools of water to 300 year old hurricanes join us as we throw down 20 space facts that will positively shrivel your cranium.
20. Two astronomers from California Institute of Technology have discovered a giant reservoir of water vapour floating in space. It is 30 billion trillion miles away and contains at least 140 trillion times more water than all the world’s oceans combined and is 100,000 times larger than the sun.
19. One flight-rated NASA space suit costs approximately 12 million dollars to manufacture.
18. Gamma-ray bursts release more energy in 10 seconds than our Sun will ever emit in 10 billion years.
17. According to the Planck mission team, on a mass-energy equivalence basis, the observable universe is only made up 4.9% ordinary matter with rest being made up of 26.7% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy.
16. One day on Venus is the equivalent of more than 116 of our days.
15. Astronauts need to go to the toilet within 2 hours of reaching space due to a physiological response in the kidneys caused by zero gravity.
14. One light year is approximately 9.5 trillion kilometres (5.88 trillion miles)
13. Space Toilets have a thigh bar that strap you in similar to a roller coaster, while a vacuum sucks waste matter away from your body where it is dried, compressed and retained in a storage container. The air is cleansed and filtered of bacteria and odour then returned back to the cabin.
12. Mars appears red because it’s covered in rust
11. It’s a fallacy that the Great Wall of China can be seen from the moon. Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut is quoted as saying that ‘No man-made object is visible at this scale.’
10. There is a planet 44 light years from Earth known as 55 Cancri E that could be made of diamond. Due to its immense pressure and temperature along with the high carbon-to-oxygen ratio of its host star astrologers have hypothesised that this extrasolar planet could consist of an outrageous amount of diamond. If true, it is estimated that this planet would be worth a mind-melting $26.9 nonillion. To picture a nonillion it is 26.9 followed by 30 zeros – which is 384 quadrillion times more than earth’s GDP.
9. Venus and Uranus are among the only planets known to spin clockwise.
8. One teaspoon of matter from a neutron star would weigh 900 times more than the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
7. Nobel laureates Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt contributed to the discovery that universe’s expansion is accelerating rather than slowing down as first thought.
6. If you could travel at the speed of light you could travel around the earth’s equator 7.5 times in just one second!
5. You could easily fit all the planets in our solar system inside Jupiter with room to spare.
4. There is an extra-solar planet known as Gliese 436 b that is covered in burning ice. It is so close to its star that it maintains a constant temperature of more than 400 degrees Celsius while gravity is so powerful that that it compresses all the water vapour in the atmosphere into a solid sheet of burning, hot ice.
3. Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after a God.
2. Jupiter has an enormous hurricane style storm that has been raging on its surface for at least 300 years. It is so large that you could fit three Earths inside of it.
1. The Arecibo message is a one time broadcast of a frequency modulated radio wave sent into space with a series of encoded messages that could be interpreted by extraterrestrials. The message consists of seven parts and goes for less than three minutes and contains the following information:
- The numbers one (1) to ten (10)
- The atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, which make up deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
- The formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA
- The number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA
- A graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth
- A graphic of the Solar System indicating which of the planets the message is coming from
- A graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the dimension (the physical diameter) of the transmitting antenna dish
It will take 25,000 years to hit its intended destination, the globular star cluster M13
5 Bonus Space Facts Not Featured In Our Youtube Countdown:
5. In 1962, the US military set-off a hydrogen bomb in space that was 100 times more powerful than the bomb that hit Hiroshima.
4. While on the International Space station astronauts see around 15 sunrises and 15 sunsets per day.
3. The Drake Equation estimates the amount of possible civilizations in our galaxy – a conservative figure is in the millions!
2. While black holes are mysterious and all consuming it is hypothesised that the opposite force should exist, white holes. Instead of consuming all matter they would spew out matter like a fountain.
1. The International Space Station is the most expensive object ever created with an estimated cost of $150 billion US.