Look Up Wed, Sep 19, 2018
As I get older I am becoming increasingly fascinated with the universe and just how minuscule our world is compared to the vastness of space. On a clear night I find it therapeutic to just stare at the stars in awe. With that said, here are some neat facts about outer space.
- Light from some stars takes so long to travel to our eyes that when you look at the star-speckled night sky you’re actually peering deep into the past. NASA’s Hubble Telescope can look as far back as 13 billion years ago.
- Outer space is silent. Eerily silent. That’s because sound waves need some sort of medium to travel through. And space is a vacuum. A dark, silent vacuum.
- The sun makes up 99.86% of the mass of the solar system. It’s so big that you could squeeze 1.3 million Earths inside of it.
- Our sun is one of at least 100 billion stars, just in the Milky Way. There might be as many as three sextillion stars in the universe. That’s 3 followed by 23 zeros, or 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That’s more than all of the grains of sand on Earth.
- The Milky Way is a huge city of stars, so big that even at the speed of light it would take 100,000 years to travel across it.
- When a massive star explodes, its scrunched up core forms something called a neutron star. Neutron stars are so dense that just a teaspoon of their material would weigh more than Mt. Everest. The explosion can spin the neutron start to mind blowing speeds, up to 600 rotations per second.
- Ordinary, observable matter (like stars and planets) makes up a measly 5% of the universe. The other 95% universe is made up of invisible dark energy (68%) and dark matter (27%).