72 Unworldly Facts About Our Universe That’ll Inspire Yet Terrify You

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51North Star

The "North Star" is actually a handful of stars orbiting each other

52. The Earth and our solar system are currently traveling through in an area with only 5% of the average density of the Milky Way Galaxy. It was likely blasted clear by a supernova 300,000 years ago.

53. In 2011, scientists estimated that there are at least 50 billion planets in the Milky Way, of which at least 500 million are in the "habitable zone" of their star. As of January 2013, the number of estimated planets in the Milky Way has more than doubled.

54. Supernovae explode on an average once every 100 years in a galaxy. Assuming there are 170 billion galaxies in the universe, there are 53 supernovae exploding every single second.

55. The last time a star went supernova in our galaxy was in 1604, and we're overdue for another one.

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56Energy of the Quasar

Quasars emit more energy than thousands of times the entire output of our galaxy.

57. Light entering our eyes from the top half of the Andromeda Galaxy is approx. 250,000 years older than the bottom half.

58. Scientists have found a star, now known as S2 that is orbiting a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy at speeds exceeding 11,000,000 mph.

59. NASA dubbed Galaxy NGC 4151 the "Eye of Sauron" for its striking similarity to Tolkien's character.

60. A dwarf galaxy named Segue 2 is the least massive galaxy in the known Universe, located 114,000 light-years away. The galaxy consists of just 1,000 or so stars with a bit of dark matter holding them together

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611994 Northridge earthquake

In 1994, when the Northridge earthquake knocked out the power in Los Angeles, people contacted authorities and observatories wondering what the strange bright lights (stars) in the sky were.

62. There are more trees on Earth than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

63. A star discovered 75 light-years away is no warmer than a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

64. Some of the shooting stars we see are actually astronaut poop burning up in the atmosphere.

65. Quasar 3c273 is 4 trillion times brighter than the sun and 100 times brighter than the output of all the stars in the Milky Way. It’s so bright, that if it were 33 light years away, it would shine just as bright in the sky as the sun, which is only 8 light minutes away.

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66Life at 455 million light years away

Astronomers detected building blocks of life in a planetary system some 455 light-years away

67. Our solar system is ‘unusual’ in that it only has one star, more than half of the stars in the sky are binary or triple.

68. A neutron star is so dense that if you dropped a gummy bear from one meter above, it would hit the surface in a nanosecond at around 7,000,000 KM/H with the force of 1,000 nuclear bombs.

69. Most "shooting stars" (meteoroids) that hit the earth every day are the size of a pebble

70. There's an unknown object in the nearby galaxy m82 that started sending out radio waves. The emission doesn't look like anything seen before

71When two galaxies collide

If two galaxies were to collide, it's unlikely that anything in them would touch. Galaxies are teeming with billions of stars but they are also very, very large. This means these stars are spread out, very spread out. To give you an idea of how sparse they are, the average particle in the air is 500 times its own width from another particle. Our Sun is 29 million times its own width from the next nearest star. So when galaxies collide we certainly don’t see Hollywood style explosions; in fact, close up you probably wouldn’t notice much at all. The collisions are so tame that they are usually just referred to as ‘mergers’.

72. A student wanted to name the international system of units to make 10^27 (1 octillion) a "hella" matter. The Universe would be 1.4 hella meters. If it wouldn't be rejected, it would make the universe officially "hella big".


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