94 Expansive Facts About the Universe & The Stuff In It – Part 2

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76Gamma-ray bursts

Gamma-Ray bursts were discovered by satellites which were intended to monitor Earth for unauthorized nuclear bomb tests in the 1960s.


77. There is a planet that rains molten glass. It is part of a category of planets called Hot Jupiters, which are gas giants that orbit close to their star.


78. Once Iron begins to form in the heart of a giant star it only has seconds to live before it explodes into a supernova and most of the heavier elements such as Gold and Silver are formed in the resulting explosion.


79. Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, is the only moon in our solar system with a retrograde orbit an orbit in the opposite direction its planet and is thus thought to be a dwarf planet that Neptune caught from the Kuiper belt.


80. Our galaxy is part the Local Group, spanning roughly 10 million light years in diameter, making up 100 billionths of a percent of the observable universe. Humanity can never venture beyond this, because of the universe's rapid expansion. Eventually, other groups may be entirely undetectable.


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81Tarantula Nebula

The Tarantula Nebula, a region in the Large Magellanic Cloud over 160,000 light years distant, contains the most luminous known star. The nebula’s luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast shadows on the ground.


82. Venus flytraps were believed to be an alien species because they seemed to grow in places where meteorites were found. It was thought they had been brought to Earth by meteors.


83. There has only been one confirmed case of a person being hit by a meteor. Ann Hodges was napping on the couch when the rock broke through her ceiling, bounced off her radio and bruised her upper thigh.


84. Satellites are programmed to avoid meteorites so they don't get destroyed. Of over 8,000 satellites orbiting the Earth, only one has ever been destroyed by a meteorite.


85. Around 3000 BC, a meteor crashed into the Indian Ocean, creating a 30km-wide crater. This caused a tsunami to hit coastal areas, including Mesopotamia, which is the origin of the flood myths (such as Noah's Ark).


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86Meteor

A sailing ship called Eclipse was overtaken by a hurricane, and then it was hit by a meteor.


87. A meteor strike in the Americas caused a tsunami that wiped out villages in Europe in 1014 AD.


88. A battle, involving over 30,000 Roman troops and a larger Pontic opposition, resulted in a tie, after both sides withdrew from the field scared, as they witnessed a ‘silvery-hot’ meteor bombarding the middle ground between them.


89. The 1833 Leonids meteor shower, the largest one ever recorded estimated at 240,000 "Shooting Stars" per hour (~67 every second) radiating from Leo constellation over a 9 hour period. The event had such an impact on society that it was used to date people with no birth certificate.


90. The only natural route through the Appalachians was formed by a meteor.


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91Milky Way

One-third of humanity (including 60% of Europeans and 80% of North Americans) live in such light polluted areas that the Milky Way is not visible at night.


92. Democritus hypothesized that the milky way was actually distant suns in ~480BC.


93. The center star of Orion's sword isn't a star, it's the Orion Nebula and is the only nebula visible from Earth with the naked eye.


94. The Tarantula Nebula is so luminous that if it were as close to Earth as Orion, it would cast shadows.

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