The endless depths of the sky intrigue almost all humans alike. Space is like an abstract dream coming to life when it unfolds into a number of unseen horizons. The enormous nebulas, staggering hypernovae and the smattering of countless planets and stars make it a canvas of muse.
We are but a speck of dust in a desert full of possibilities when compared to the vastness of space. There are many realities prospering in the skies above us, it is only natural that we are still unaware of the majority of phenomena taking place on and around the stars.
Just like the count of stars, there are unlimited obscure and consternating facts dwelling in the depths of space. Most of them are surprising and are reminders for us that we are just an addition to the universe. Let us take a swim into the sky with these 10 amazing facts which are bound to fascinate you.
1. Your full address
Your full address is not just limited to the street, city, province, and country. The beloved planet earth has its own elaborate address.
Before understanding it, let us take a look at the vastness of space in terms of its components. Earth is a part of the Milky Way Galaxy which, in turn, is a part of a cluster of galaxies known as the Local Group. Further, the Local Group is a small part of the Virgo Supercluster which is a cluster of cluster of galaxies, comprising thousands of other galaxies. Like the Virgo Supercluster, there are countless other superclusters as well.
You can imagine the length of your full address. In case you want to receive a letter from someone a little far off, keep your full address ready or the chances are that it may be lost somewhere on the way.
2. Halley’s Comet
Gravity is a unique phenomenon. Far beyond Newton’s mathematical expressions, this phenomenon has its own wonders. One of them is Halley’s Comet.
We know it as a comet that just returns with its aesthetically beautiful tail every 76 years, but most of us are unaware that this heavenly body is just in a free fall around the Sun. Halley’s Comet is trapped in a trajectory by this enormous star’s gravity. Yet, some other scientific phenomena prevent it from collapsing into the sun.
The comet takes a path around the sun and is pushed back into the universe until the effect of gravity is lost. Here, it gets pulled back again. This cyclic process has a time period of 76 years.
With this knowledge, brace yourself for Halley’s return in 2061.
3. Space is Silent
The entire space appears to be filled with an eerie silence. This statement holds true because there is no medium for sound to travel in space – sound needs air or water or something solid to transmit waves.
When the astronauts leave the Earth’s atmosphere, they need radio waves to communicate with each other. On the internet, you can find some sources to listen to the sounds in space. These are essentially electromagnetic waves caught by satellites and rovers converted into sound waves.
If a silent house scares you at night, just imagine the creeps in an endless silent space. Bummer!
4. We may not be the only Planet Enjoying the Rain
Through scientific evidence, we know that there are various planets that receive their share of rainfall.
When the Voyager 1 closely passed Jupiter, it heard the sounds of thunder and lightning. Therefore, we know that Jupiter’s gigantic gaseous composition is constantly subjected to lightning.
On Titan – the largest moon of Saturn, it rains liquid methane. It sounds really bizarre but over there, the lakes and rivers are composed of liquid methane itself.
So, whenever space travel is open to the general public, don’t forget to carry an umbrella with you.
5. Space is Beautiful
Auroras are not exclusive to the Earth. As a matter of fact, different planets have their own beautiful light and sound shows near the poles.
These shows are available to all existent and non-existent audiences alike. Jupiter has red-colored auroras while Saturn has blue. However, you will need some ultraviolet glasses to witness them.
Furthermore, the beauty of space is not just confined to auroras. The shapes and forms of nebulae are works of art, which have been captured by the powerful cameras of the Hubble Space Telescope and saved in the archives to marvel at.
As such, there is endless beauty in the darkness of space. You might want to plan your next artistic voyage to a space observatory. You would not be disappointed.
6. The Black Hole Mystery
The black holes in space are not unheard of. Their depth reeks of several mysterious phenomena including the conjecture that time stops inside a black hole.
The strength of gravitational pull in a black hole is high enough to pull even light back to its surface. Consequently, a black hole is capable of consuming everything that comes in its vicinity.
Also, time does not effectively stop for a body falling into the black hole but instead slows down relatively. This can be attributed to the fact that time is slower closer to massive objects.
In space, a black hole is capable of causing a tremendous amount of damage to all bodies near it.
7. Theories and Theories
Many recent and popular theories point at parallel universes which means that there may be different realities co-existing with the one that we witness daily. However, there has not been enough evidence to conclude the existence of parallel universes.
The General Theory of Relativity has been omnipresent in the world of science. The possibility of wormholes, the hypothetical paths between two distinct time spaces, is also consistent with this theory. But then again, there is not enough evidence to support this conjecture as well.
These theories oftentimes give a remarkably appropriate explanation of certain phenomenon in outer space. If you foray into some research, you will be surprised to find a huge number of theories corroborating surreal facts like some given above.
8. Cold Welding
The non-existence of air and water in space causes a strange phenomenon which has been known as cold welding.
If you bring together two distinct objects or metals together in space, in the presence of vacuum, they will combine with each other unaware of their different compositions. This happens because there is no factor separating the two objects. In the presence of an atmosphere, the separating factor would be air and water.
9. Dark Energy
Through the study of the light spectrum of quasi-stellar light objects, we know that the universe is expanding. The bugging issue with this phenomenon is that even in the presence of the effect of gravity of so many stars and planets, the universe refuses to collapse into itself.
Scientists attribute this to the existence of dark energy which is not practically conceivable but causes the reverse effect of gravity which, in turn, causes the universe to expand.
It sounds spooky, but the universe is rife with things that cannot possibly be explained.
10. Milky Way is going to Collide with Andromeda
In about a billion years, the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will be in such intimate proximity that they will collapse into one another.
The collision of two galaxies sounds destructive but as a matter of fact, there would be negligible damage resulting from this merging of galaxies. In fact, the observers will be able to witness a dance of stars for years and years.
Thus, space can show you a glimmering piece of it in the form of just anything.
You may say that space is quite unpredictable and let me tell you that you are absolutely correct. Perhaps, that is the beauty of it. Perhaps, that is the reason it becomes a canvas for thoughts and theories.
I hope these 10 facts about space make you a tad more curious and enthusiastic about space.
If you are a student reading this article and are willing to take your interest in science and space further by studying abroad, check out the post on Post Study Visa. Here, you will find information regarding visa and immigration standards of various countries, thereby helping you in planning a post-study life in the country of your dreams.
Related: Top 10 lesser-known space facts