Space is an absolutely awesome place. The expanse of the universe is almost incalculable, and the wonders it holds are even harder to imagine. From a galactic-style kegger, to the most massive structure known to man, let’s take a look at some of the most amazing things that us humans have found.
1. Mars has the biggest volcano known to mankind
Olympus Mons on Mars is the biggest volcano that we know of. The volcano stands a staggering 16 miles tall and is 374 miles across. That is three times larger than Mount Everest, and about the size of Arizona, respectively.
Volcanoes on Mars can grow to this size because Mars doesn’t have tectonic plates like the Earth does. Don’t get too excited to see a massive eruption, though. Mars’s core has cooled, and it is believed that all volcanic activity has ceased to exist.
2. We can’t count how many stars there are in the universe
The way we calculate the number of stars in the universe is by multiplying different estimates together. We take the estimated number of stars in our own galaxy, and then multiply that with the estimated number of galaxies in the universe.
But if you want to know the exact number, no one can tell you. There’s no telling if the universe is infinitely large, or if there are multiple universes to factor in too. Suffice to say, there are a zillion stars in the known universe. And in this case, the word “zillion” is just a fancy way of saying “uncountable.”
3. Cold welding
When two like metals bump into each other in space, they will fuse together on their own. This process is called cold welding. It’s not possible in the atmosphere of Earth because there are other elements that keep them separate.
Just imagine what this could mean when you are building a spaceship in orbit.
4. A giant oasis in deep space
There is a giant reservoir across the galaxy that is holding roughly 140 trillion times more water than the Earth. It is a ball of water vapor surrounding a black hole that is approximately 10 billion light-years away from us. So, if we are ever on a journey that far into deep space, at least we know where we could grab a drink.
5. Earth is surrounded by a proverbial landfill
For decades, we have been launching satellites into space and building space stations. Any time you do this, there is going to be some waste. It is estimated that there are about 17,000 trackable pieces of space junk that are larger than a coffee mug surrounding our planet. If we include everything down to the size of a nut or bolt, it’s around 500,000 pieces of junk. We have essentially created a junkyard in orbit, with objects traveling up to 17,500 miles per hour.
6. There is such a thing as ‘space booze’
There is an entire nebula that is made primarily of ethyl alcohol. In theory, it holds about 400 trillion pints of beer. Basically, there is a kegger at the center of the galaxy. It would take us 10,000 years to get there if we traveled at the speed of light. All I want to know is: Who’s driving?
7. The largest structure in space shouldn’t exist
The large quasar group is the largest structure known to man in the universe. It is roughly 4 billion light-years across. To put that into perspective, our galaxy is just 100,000 light-years across. Most astronomers didn’t think that it was possible for structures to get that big.
8. This exoplanet is an ice cube on fire
The exoplanet, Gliese 436 b, has extremely high atmospheric pressure. The pressure is so high that its water remains in a solid form. Conversely, the planet also maintains a temperature of 300 degrees Celsius. I guess this planet could end the age-old debate of whether to treat sore muscles with heat or ice.
9. How long is a galactic year?
We always judge our lives by the solar year, or what time of the day it is. But have you ever thought about how long it takes our sun to complete a trip around the galaxy? One galactic year can take 230 million Earth years. The last time our sun was where it is now in the Milky Way galaxy, dinosaurs were first starting to appear.
10. A diamond the size of a small sun
PSR J2222-0137 is the leftover husk of a larger star that died some 11 billion years ago. The star is what is known as a white dwarf. It didn’t blow up and collapse upon itself to create a neutron star or pulsar. It just gradually puffed up and let its outer layers go. By going out in a sort of whimper, this allowed the star to slowly compress itself into a diamond. It was mostly carbon by the end of its life and didn’t go supernova like most larger stars.
Obviously, the star is not a pure diamond, as there are other elements that are inside it as well. But when you are looking at a diamond the size of a sun, it really doesn’t matter. The mass is calculated to weigh a million, trillion, trillion pounds.
Don’t expect to go on a mining mission anytime soon. This giant diamond is approximately 900 light-years away.
Space is remarkably mysterious and incredibly huge. Space is the vast region that starts where the earth’s atmosphere finishes. To better understand, check these Space facts that will blow your mind.
11. The universe is approximately 13.82 billion years old.
12. The day is longer than a year on Venus.
13. The universe contains over 100 billion galaxies.
14. The skin of your feet peels off in Space.
15. Inside the Sun one million Earths can fit.
16. The Solar system is 4.6 billion years old.
17. Venus and Mercury do not have any Moons.
18. Venus is the hottest planet in our Solar System with 450° C temperature.
19. There are 300 sextillion stars in the Space.
20. There is no atmosphere in space making it completely silent.
21. You become taller in Space because of microgravity.
22. Tears will not fall down if you cry in Space due to loss of gravity.
23. Apart from Earth, there may be life on Mars.
24. Ceres is the largest asteroid in Space.
25. Kepler-78b is similar to Earth and is referred as “lava world”.
26. The Sun travels around the galaxy once every 200 million years – a journey of 100,000 light years.
27. Because lower gravity, a person with 100kg weigh on Earth would only weigh 38kg on Mars.
28. Merging two galaxies can change the structure of galaxies.
29. Venus is the only planet that spins backward.
30. Sunlight takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth.
31. Uranus is the only planet that has 27 moons.
32. Mars has the largest dust storms, it lasts for months and covers up the whole planet.
33. A light-year is a measure of distance in space.
34. Jupiter is the planet with the most moons in our galaxy.
35. Astronomical Unit is used to measure the distance between the Sun and the Earth.
36. R136a1 is the most massive and hottest star.
37. VY CanisMajoris is the biggest star in the universe.
38. A day in Mercury lasts approximately as long as 59 days on Earth.
39. Neil Armstrong was the first man who reached the moon.
40. The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest galaxy to us.
41. Sputnik was the first artificial satellite in space.
42. Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman who travels to space.
43. Our home galaxy in the universe is the Milky Way Galaxy.
44. Normal pens won’t work in Space.
45. The “Laika” was the first living mammal to ever go into Space.