Monday, June 25, 2012


The universe is vast and amazing. It is estimated that the universe is between 12 and 14 billion years old. Scientists still don't know quite how large the universe is, although many believe it to be endless. The following amazing space facts, however, are less well known tidbits about our universe.

1. There are more than 8,000 objects orbiting the earth. Many of the objects are referred to as orbital debris or "space junk". More than 2,500 of those objects are satellites.

2. Saturn's rings are not solid. Although they appear to be thin, solid rings that surround the planet, Saturn's rings are actually particles of ice, dust and rock. The particles range from the size of a grain of sand to larger than skyscraper buildings.

3. Other planets have rings too. Saturn's rings are the only ones visible from Earth.

4. Mercury, the small rocky planet closest to the Sun, has almost no atmosphere to keep it warm. Because of this, temperatures can reach as high as 800 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and as low as -300 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

5. A tablespoon of neutron star would weigh about ten billion tones.

6. The Sun and the entire solar system revolve around the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

7. The cost of a spacesuit is about $11 million dollars.

8. The red color of Mars comes from the rusted iron in its soil.

9. Jupiter has no surface for a spacecraft to land on. It's comprised mostly from helium gas and hydrogen.

10. Winds at Saturn's equator are nearly five times stronger than the winds of a hurricane on Earth. Unlike a hurricane, the winds on Saturn never die down.

11. Because of the strange rotation of Uranus, once the Sun comes up it doesn't set for 42 years. When it does finally set, it is then dark for 42 years.

12. The Sun makes up 99.86% of the solar system's mass. The Sun has sunspots, the dark spots on the Sun’s photosphere (surface), 2000°C cooler than the rest of the surface.

13. Saturn has such a low density that it would float in water.

14. Saturn's moon, Titan, is larger than the planet Mercury.

15. If you look at the farthest star that can be seen, you are peering 4 million years into the past. It takes the light from the farthest star that long to reach Earth.

16. Jupiter is so large that all planets in the solar system could fit inside of it.

17. Solar flares reach temperatures of 10 million °C and have the energy of a million atom bomb...:o

18. A person that weighs 100 pounds on Earth would weigh 264 pounds on Jupiter.

19. There are more stars than there are grains of sand on Earth.

20. A comet's tail always points away from the Sun.