Amazing Facts About Outer Space
Outer space seems like an amazing place. Here are some cool and amazing facts that you may not know about our outer space. See below by yourself:
Nuking the Moon
In the late 1950′s, by way of something labeled Project A119 the United States decided it would be a good idea to launch a nuclear missile at the moon. Why? Evidently they felt it would give them a leg up in the Space Race. Fortunately, however, the plan was never executed.
This is a phenomenon used to describe the fact that whenever two pieces of metal in outer-space touch each other, they are more or less permanently stuck together. While welding usually requires heat, in this case the vacuum of space does the trick, hence the the name. You might think then, how do space shuttles accomplish anything out there? Well, typically metals on Earth have a layer of oxidized material covering their surface that prevents this, so on shuttle missions the risk of accidentally welding the shuttle to itself is negligible.
The Sun rays hitting your skin are 30,000 years old
While most of us know that the light hitting Earth took 8 minutes to cross the 93 million miles between our skin and the surface of the Sun, did you know that the energy in those rays started their life over 30,000 years ago deep within the core of the sun? They were formed by an intense fusion reaction and spent most of those thousands of years making their way to the Sun’s surface.
We basically have no idea how many stars there are in the universe. Right now we use our estimate of how many stars there are in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. We then multiply that number by the best guesstimate of the number of galaxies in the universe. After all that math, NASA can only confidently say that say there all zillions of uncountable stars. A zillion is any uncountable amount. An Australian National University study put their estimate at 70 sextillion. Put another way, that’s 70,000 million million million.
The Hexagon of Saturn
Saturn may be most famous for its spectacular rings, but Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune have rings too. However, nothing like the giant hexagon circling Saturn’s north pole has ever been seen on any other planet, with each of its sides nearly 7,500 miles (12,500 kilometers) across, that’s big enough to fit nearly four Earths inside. Thermal images show it reaches some 60 miles (100 kilometers) down into the planet’s atmosphere. Scientists have bandied about several other ideas concerning the hexagon’s origin. One such idea is that the hexagon arises from a complex interaction between waves undulating through the atmosphere and gas churning up.
As the name suggest, a hyper-nova is like your standard supernova but with a maxed-out combo meter. Hyper-novas result from a super-massive star when it reaches the end of its life and its core collapses directly into a black hole. Energy is released at rapid rates, creating two jets of plasma that move at the speed of light and emit gamma radiation. The good news is that this can only occur in the largest stars in our galaxy, the hyper-giants, which have one-hundred to three-hundred times the mass of our Sun. These are incredibly rare as is and only hyper-nova about once every two-hundred million years or so.