Celestial Wonders: 50 Remarkable Facts About Universe – Part 3

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1 Supernova Creates Crab Nebula

Supernova Creates Crab Nebula

In 1054, Chinese astronomers noted a bright “guest star” in Taurus that was visible during the daytime for 3 weeks and didn’t completely fade out for almost two years. The “guest star” was actually the supernova explosion that created the Crab Nebula, located approximately 6,500 light-years away.

2. The earliest description of the heliocentric model dates back to ancient Greece. Aristarchus of Samos (c. 310-c. 230 BC) described the Earth spinning on its axis once per day and orbiting a fixed sun. He also believed that stars were other suns much further away.

3. A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star to capture its power output. This concept attempts to explain how a spacefaring civilization would meet its energy requirements once those requirements exceed the resources of their home planet.

4. The North Star is approximately 4,000 times brighter than our sun. The light we see when we look at the North Star was generated in the 1580s, and it has been traveling through space for more than 400 years to reach us.

5. If, instead of being on Earth, you were on a planet near the center of the galaxy and went out at night, there would be so many stars visible that you could read a book lit only by starlight.

6 Vast Galactic Grouping

Vast Galactic Grouping

Our local galactic group alone has a diameter of 10 million light-years and contains the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, along with about 50 dwarf galaxies. However, this accounts for only 0.00000000001 percent of the observable universe.

7. The Crab Nebula recently emitted the highest-energy photons ever recorded, with gamma rays reaching well over 100 TeV (ten times what the most powerful human-made particle accelerator can produce). These gamma rays likely originate from a pulsar lurking in the heart of the nebula.

8. In space, there are only 9 to 12 seconds for someone to remain conscious outside an airlock, and humans can survive without rescue for at least 30 seconds.

9. The heat of the Earth’s core has nothing to do with pressure. Rather, most of it is energy produced by radioactive decay, with the remaining heat being trapped from when the planet formed.

10. The mere existence of other galaxies in the universe has only been known to humans for roughly 100 years. Before that, it was believed that the Milky Way contained every star in the universe.

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11 Brown Dwarfs and Fusion

Brown Dwarfs and Fusion

Classified between stars and planets are brown dwarfs. Although they form like stars, these objects lack sufficient mass to initiate nuclear fusion, the process that causes stars to shine. Brown dwarfs mainly emit infrared light, with wavelengths longer than what the human eye can see.

12. The Milky Way got its name from the Greek mythological story where the goddess Hera pulled a breastfeeding Hercules off her breast, and milk sprayed across the galaxy.

13. Our solar system is surrounded by an 89,000-degree Fahrenheit orb of plasma created by the interaction between the sun and interstellar winds.

14. The “Rare Earth Hypothesis” posits that the origin of life on Earth required an improbable combination of astrophysical and geological events to occur and is unlikely to happen again in the universe.

15. Scientists believe there is a ninth planet in our solar system that is roughly ten times larger than Earth. Although they haven’t been able to locate it yet, its existence is inferred from its gravitational effects on other objects. Current estimates suggest it is approximately 15 to 20 times further from the sun than Pluto, with an orbit lasting 10,000 to 20,000 years.

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16 TON 618: Supermassive Enigma

TON 618: Supermassive Enigma

There is a supermassive black hole named TON 618 that is 140 trillion times more luminous and 66 billion times more massive than the Sun. It contains more mass than the entire Milky Way galaxy.

17. On March 22nd, 1989, a sub-kilometer-sized asteroid called 581 Asclepius came within 500,000 miles of colliding with Earth. The impact would have released energy equivalent to a 600-megaton atomic bomb. The asteroid was discovered nine days after its closest approach to Earth.

18. We are currently in the Stelliferous Era, which is the age when stars are continuously formed throughout the universe. Eventually, all stars will burn out, leading to the Black Hole Era followed by the Dark Era, where there will no longer be any light in the universe.

19. There are planets outside our solar system that are so low in density that they are called “super puffs.”

20. Earth Trojans are two asteroids that share our orbit, leading us around the Sun.

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21 Bell Labs and Cosmic Background

Bell Labs and Cosmic Background

In 1964, Bell Labs constructed a large space antenna. During testing, two of their scientists encountered persistent “interference” that could not be isolated. After multiple attempts to resolve the issue, they determined that the “noise” was, in fact, a remnant hum from the Big Bang. As a result, they went on to win the Nobel Prize.

22. The largest preserved impact crater in our solar system is located on the far side of the moon. Beneath it lies an “anomaly” of heavy metal roughly the size of Hawaii, which apparently affects the moon’s gravitational field.

23. The asteroid belt is fragmented and unable to coalesce into a planet due to the gravitational effects of Jupiter, which disrupts the asteroids and makes them collide with each other, thus preventing them from forming a larger celestial body.

24. When astronauts perform spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS), compounds from space adhere to their suits, causing a distinct scent when they return to the station. The smell is so unique that NASA collaborated with a top fragrance maker to recreate the odor for training simulations.

25. One of Mars’ moons, Phobos, orbits the planet much faster than Mars rotates. It completes an orbit in just 7 hours and 39 minutes. From the surface of Mars, it appears to rise in the west, move across the sky in 4 hours and 15 minutes, and set in the east, repeating this cycle twice during a Martian day.

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