Our Solar system is big, and vast, despite it is really small compared to our galaxy, not to mention the complete universe. To put this into a perspective, you can think yourself as a photon emitted by the Sun. It takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth after a photon has been emitted from the Sun’s surface. And it takes 5 hours to get out to Pluto from the Earth. The edge of the Solar System is far beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Continue reading Leaving Solar System at the Speed Of Light
But, where’s the edge of the Solar System? Well, It’s complicated. Informally, the term “solar system” is often used to mean the space out to the last planet – Neptune. Some scientists think that the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets. The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU (Astronomical Unit, the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is around 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers) from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU.
People believe many things which are actually not true. Here are the top ten misconceptions about Earth.
Continue reading Top 10 Common Misconceptions about Earth
When it comes to big numbers, very big numbers, the human brain is weak. In fact, our brains cannot deal with the really large numbers. That’s why when the subject is Earth, planets, Solar System, galaxies, and in general, the Universe, we cannot truly conceptualize the things. A lot of people think we’re “conquering” space (we are far, far away from that – and maybe we never will), or the “aliens” are regularly visiting Earth as if it is just an hour’s drive from there. In fact, these people don’t truly understand what are they talking about, how big is the universe, how far the stars are, and how the Earth is a tiny, tiny spot in a vast space we are still striving to understand.
But we can try to understand and conceptualize. To put things into a perspective, YouTube user morn1415 prepared a video (he updated a previous video with the new findings in the astronomy).
Continue reading The Size Of Earth Compared to Other Planets and Stars (and the Universe)
In 240 BC, the Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician, music theorist and librarian Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276 BC – c. 195/194 BC) calculated the circumference of the Earth without even leaving Egypt. Here’s how:
Eratosthenes knew that at local noon on the summer solstice (at the time of the longest day, about 21 June in the northern hemisphere) in Syene (modern Aswan, Egypt), the Sun was directly overhead – Syene was in fact slightly north of the tropic, though (1). Local noon is – technically when the sub-solar point is somewhere over your meridian, it’s noon for you. So, on that day, Syene is the sub-solar point of Earth (the sub-solar point on a planet is where its sun is perceived to be directly overhead). To learn more about the local noon and the subsolar point, see the article titled “How Earth Moves“.
Continue reading How Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference
A beautiful video, once again, from Michael Stevens, titled “How Earth Moves”. Michael explains many concepts, including “sub-solar point”, “sidereal day vs solar day”, or “how Earth moves in the space” etc, and he is doing it in a very simplified manner. Enjoy!
Continue reading How Earth Moves (Video)
Elon Mask, the founder, CEO, and Lead Designer of the private space travel company SpaceX announced that “they are planning to get humans to Mars in six years”. In order to achieve this goal, Musk revealed the Interplanetary Transport System, which aims to reach Mars with a human crew for the first time in history.
Continue reading SpaceX unveils the Interplanetary Transport System (a spaceship and rocket to colonize Mars) – video
Previously I posted two articles titled “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map Of The Solar System“, and “A Scale Model of Solar System Drawn in the Desert and the Result is Stunning“. Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, these articles provide an amazing way to understand how big actually our Solar System is.
Now, I decided to put the Solar System into scale as an infographic. You can see a scaled Solar System below, the planets’ distances from the Sun, and the first flybys over them. Plus some statistics about the planets and our home planet, the Earth.
Continue reading Scale of the Solar System (and the first flybys of planets)
Earth is a blue marble in the space: the water, gives our planet its blue color: about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered. There is roughly 326 million cubic miles (1.332 billion cubic kilometers) water on the Earth’s surface. Almost 97% of that water is salty (ocean water). But where all that water came from?
Continue reading Where Earth’s water came from?
We evolved here on Earth, and for thousands of years, we just thought the Earth is also the universe, or at least the most important and the biggest part of it. Our brains have been adapted to the life on Earth and the basic survival needs. So we can deal with the moderately sized objects which have moderate velocity, we can understand the small numbers like 1, 2, 50, we can conceptualize the small distances like two kilometers or the distance from our “cave” to the nearest river. But when the numbers and distances get bigger, I mean much bigger, like the distance from Earth to the Sun, it becomes incredibly difficult to conceptualize.
Previously I posted an article titled “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map Of The Solar System“. Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, it is an amazing way to understand how big actually our Solar System is.
Continue reading A Scale Model of Solar System Drawn in the Desert and the Result is Stunning
Alex Kuzoian and Jessica Orwig of Business Insider has prepared a video titled “Here’s why Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars”. In the video, we see some reasons why we should colonize Mars someday.
Continue reading Why we should colonize Mars (and other planets and the satellites too)