The common spiral depiction of the Milky Way Galaxy used in media is actually another galaxy: Messier 74. Because we dwell within the Milky Way Galaxy, it is not yet possible for us to take a picture of its spiral structure from the outside.
2. The largest galaxy in the observable universe is an elliptical galaxy, IC 1101. It has 100 trillion stars and is 6 million light years across. By comparison, the Milky Way has a mere 100 billion stars and is 120,000 light years across.
3. If you watched an object slip into a black hole, no matter how long you watched, you would never actually see the object enter it due to time dilation.
4. A region near a black hole is called a photon sphere where the gravitational pull is so strong that light photons orbit it, meaning if you were at that point and turned to the side, you could see the back of your own head.
5. The fastest spinning Neutron stars known to man, rotate at 716 complete rotations per second.
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The largest known black hole (Holmberg 15A) has a diameter of 1 trillion km, more than 190 times the distance from the Sun to Pluto.
7. The Oh-My-God particle was an ultra-high-energy cosmic ray that was detected on 15 October 1991 by the University of Utah. It was traveling so absurdly fast that time dilation dictates that it would have experienced only 16 days of time since the beginning of the universe.
8. The coldest known natural place in the Universe is the Boomerang Nebula. At −272.15°C it is 1°C warmer than absolute zero, and 2°C colder than background radiation from the Big Bang.
9. The Pillars of Creation, a nebula 7,000 light years away, was destroyed by supernova 6,000 years ago. In a thousand years, we will see it destroyed as it takes 7,000 years for the light to reach Earth.
10. The SN 1006 supernova was the brightest star event in recorded human history. It was widely seen on Earth beginning in the year 1006. Some historical sources state that it was bright enough to cast shadows.
A neutron star is so dense that if an object was dropped from one meter above the star’s surface, it would hit the surface at a speed of 7.2 million km per hour.
12. Not only are there rogue planets floating through space completely alone, not orbiting any stars, but it is possible that these pitch-black lonely planets can support life.
13. The sun is brighter than about 90% of the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.
14. On May 20, 1964, two astronomers named Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson working at a New Jersey laboratory turned a giant microwave antenna toward what they thought would be a quiet part of the Milky Way. When they heard static, they thought they were hearing interference from pigeon poop on their antennae. They were actually hearing microwave background remains of the beginnings of the universe.
15. According to the string theory, black holes have the potential to be shaped like rings, helices, or even like the planet Saturn, but no one actually knows their true shape.
Hubble has captured a set of galaxies that have such a strong gravitational pull that they warp time and light, an effect known as gravitational lensing and this specific set of galaxies creates the appearance of a smiley face.
17. Mira, a dying star zipping through our universe is shedding its matter, each bit of which may one day grow into a new, individual star of its own. NASA has called it “The Johnny Appleseed of The Universe.”
18. The edge of the observable universe is ~46 billion light years away despite the universe being only ~13.8 billion years old.
19. Ancient Egyptians believed that the universe was created due to an ejaculation and Egyptian Pharaohs were required to masturbate ceremonially into the Nile.
20. The average color of the universe is a beige-ish white and therefore the color is named "Cosmic Latte"
During one of Stephen Hawking’s lecture in Japan, he was asked not to mention the possible re-collapse of the universe, billions of years into the future, for fears of its effects on the stock exchange
22. Thanks to the experiments conducted in CERN, we now know that every atom in the Universe could be undone in an instant by a simple, unpredictable and an unstoppable event, i.e., a quantum tunnel causing a phase-shift in the Higgs field.
23. A 'Googolplex' is such a large number, that if you were to write a '1', followed by a '0' on every single hydrogen particle in the known universe, you would not even get close to writing out the full number.
24. Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.468 billion years or about 1/3 the estimated age of the universe
25. Approximation of Pi to 39 decimals is accurate enough to calculate the volume of the known universe with a precision of one atom.