Space Odyssey: 40 Amazing Facts About Our Universe

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It takes 243 Earth-days for Venus to rotate about its axis, yet it takes 225 Earth-days for Venus to orbit the sun. That means that, on Venus, a day takes longer than a year.

2. About 70,000 years ago, a nomadic star came within 1 light-year of the Sun and research suggests this close pass sent dozens of comets and asteroids tumbling out of our solar system.

3. If you were able to travel from the Earth to a distance of 8.3 BILLION Light Years, you would cross the ‘Cosmic Point of No Return’, where you would never be able to make it back to Earth, even if you somehow traveled the speed of light. So it’s an important philosophical point to reflect on, that there are places in our own universe that we can’t see (or get to), and will never be able to see, or get to, or communicate with, no matter how much time passes or how fast we go.

4. The Sun is so loud that if space was filled with air its sound would be 125db on Earth, 92 Million miles away.

5. The oldest known galaxy in the universe is GN-z11, a galaxy approximately 32 billion light-years away from us. Scientists observe it as it existed 13.4 billion years ago, only 400 million years after the Big Bang.

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6Pluto & Charon

Pluto & Charon

Pluto and its moon Charon are mutually tidally locked. This means they are both always facing each other with the same hemispheres, so Charon would appear to be "fixed" in a point in the sky from the surface of Pluto rather than rising or setting.

7. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is so loud, it’s acoustic sound waves heat up the surrounding atmosphere to almost 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. A teaspoon of matter taken from a neutron star would weigh around 10 billion tons, which is similar to the weight of an average mountain on earth.

9. Venus could have had habitable conditions for billions of years. Long enough for life to have developed.

10. If you stand on Mercury, experiencing a day, from sunrise to sunrise, will take two full orbits around the sun, and three full rotations of the planet.

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Scientists have discovered a Jupiter-like planet which they have name HAT-P-7b where it rains rubies and sapphires. It is located 1,000 light-years from Earth.

12. In 2006, astronomers spotted a huge cloud of fiery gas which is 3 million light-years in diameter and hotter than the center of our Sun. The gas ball contains more matter than a 1,000 billion Suns.

13. The Milky Way Galaxy is located in the largest empty void in the observable universe, which is a good thing because interesting cosmic activity seems to be completely incompatible with life. Maybe it’s not even a coincidence that a Supervoid evolved intelligent life able to map the Universe.

14. Jupiter's moon Io, the most volcanically active world in the Solar System, has volcanic eruptions so powerful that they can be seen with large telescopes on Earth.

15. "Pan" the second moon of Saturn, is irregularly shaped because it has accidentally captured some of Saturn's ring material.

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16Xena & Gabrielle

Xena & Gabrielle

While the dwarf planet beyond Pluto is officially named Eris, and its moon is Dysnomia, they are unofficially called Xena and Gabrielle.

17. Betelgeuse is a massive star 450 light-years away that may go supernova at any given moment and outshine the moon at night and be clearly visible during the day.

18. There is a star about 50 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus (BPM 37093) that is comprised of pure crystallized carbon, which means it is a diamond that weighs 10 billion trillion trillion carats.

19. Jupiter has a moon named Mneme. With a mean diameter of 1 km, its elliptical orbit is opposite to Jupiter's rotation and takes 620 days to orbit around Jupiter. Mneme means "memory" and is named for one of the Muses, or daughters of Zeus

20. The dwarf planet Chiron in our solar system which orbits our sun between Saturn and Uranus has its own rings. The orbit of Chiron is highly eccentric, which makes scientists speculate it may have originated from outside our solar system.



Ganymede, the largest moon in our Solar System, is the only known moon that has a magnetic field.

22. Mercury is thought to be the almost-exposed core of a planet that was 4.5x bigger before a collision with another proto-planet that blew away most of its crust and mantle.

23. Our galaxy (the Milky Way) is part of a larger supercluster of 100,000 galaxies named Laniakea that stretches 500 million light-years across!

24. In the future when our sun becomes a red giant, Saturn's moon Titan will become warm enough for life to possibly evolve in a manner similar to Earth. These conditions would persist for a hundred million years.

25. The coldest place recorded in our Solar System is Triton, a moon of Neptune, which has a temperature of -240C (-400F).

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