Even if a black hole were to replace our sun, Earth and the other planets would orbit the black hole as they orbit the sun now, not get sucked in.
52. Mark Twain predicted his own death in 1909, "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it." He died in 1910, a day after the comet returned.
53. When Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet during its 1910 approach, there was public fear that a gas discovered in the tail, cyanogen, would destroy all life on the planet, leading to people buying gas masks and "Anti-Comet Pills."
54. Eugene Shoemaker, who co-discovered comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, died in a car crash on his way to see comet Hale-Bopp. Some of his ashes were taken to the moon in 1999, making him the only person to be buried on a celestial body outside Earth.
55. After 11 years in space, the Rosetta probe was intentionally crashed into a comet in order to provide close-up photos on its final descent. Scientists said they wanted it to go out in "true rock'n'roll style."
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Comet West (also known as "The Great Comet") may not return for at least another 6.5 million years, according to an estimation.
57. Astronomer Charles Messier was obsessed with finding comets. He only cataloged other "Messier Objects" in order to help him avoid wasting time when comet hunting.
58. The first "Picture" of Halley's comet can be seen on the Bayeux Tapestry which was possibly completed in 1077.
59. There's a preferred pathway throughout the Solar System that is determined by gravitational fields this is where every comet travels.
60. The Rosetta spacecraft, while studying comet 67P, discovered electrons cause the rapid breakup of water and carbon dioxide molecules erupting from the surface, not photons (light) as previously thought.
While in space, astronauts sometimes see random flashes of light caused by cosmic rays hitting the optic nerve. We don't see it on earth because the magnetosphere protects us from the rays.
62. Astronauts in the Apollo program reported seeing "streaks" of white light every 3 minutes, even when they closed their eyes.
63. Dark matter could warm certain planets in the place of a sun, allowing life to arise on a sunless planet.
64. The tallest possible mountains on a neutron star can only be about 5mm tall due to their gravity.
65. The elusive "Dark Matter" in the universe could be detected by looking for time glitches in the existing network of GPS satellites. One researcher is already mining 15 years' worth of GPS timing data for its signature.
If a marshmallow were dropped a foot above the surface of a neutron star it would have the same energy of a modern atomic bomb.
67. If you had a baseball-sized piece of neutron star material it would weigh 20 trillion kg, about 40 times the estimated weight of the entire human population
68. Google made a detailed, interactive map of the galaxy in HTML5, just to see if they could.
69. An international team of astronomers has spotted the farthest known gravitational lens and, as Albert Einstein predicted, it is a galaxy that deflects and intensifies the light of a much further object.
70. The Galaxy M100 is so far away that if beings from there were to look at Earth right now, they would be watching the real-time extinction of the dinosaurs.
Anyone with internet access can help scientists classify the shape of galaxies imaged by Hubble in a citizen scientist project.
72. Harlow Shapley, the man who discovered where our sun is in relation to our galaxy, picked astronomy to study as his major because it was the first one he saw in the course catalog.
73. There is a galaxy called LEDA 074886 that has a rectangular shape.
74. There are ring galaxies, called Hoag's Objects, where young hot stars form a nearly perfect circle around a spherical core of old cooler stars.
75. If the largest star in the Galaxy was placed at the center of our Solar System, its surface would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter.
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