Stellar Secrets: 87 More Surprising Truths About the Universe – Part 2

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1Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms create antimatter.


2. Jupiter is a "Cosmic Vacuum Cleaner." Its gravitational influence causes comets and asteroids to collide with it. The rate of impacts on Jupiter is about 2000-8000X higher than the rate on Earth. Without Jupiter, the probability of asteroid impacts with the inner planets would be much greater.


3. The asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs was powerful enough to send Earth rocks to Mars and even Europa. As a result, if we ever find life on those worlds it may actually have originated on our own planet.


4. A single asteroid can contain $20 trillion worth of metals.


5. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs also caused volcanoes to erupt everywhere, acid rain which burned flesh and vegetation, a sulfuric gas that blocked out sunlight for years, vaporized rocks as deep as the sea floor, and mega tsunamis up to 2 miles (3.22km) high.


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6Asteroid Belt

Asteroid Belt

NASA estimates that the value of minerals in the asteroid belt exceeds $600,000,000,000,000,000,000. Or nearly $100 billion per person alive.


7. Japan successfully landed an unmanned spacecraft on an asteroid, collected samples in 2005. The probe returned to earth in 2010.


8. A man named Gregory W. Nemitz claimed ownership of Asteroid 433 Eros, on which NEAR Shoemaker landed in 2001. His company Orbital Development issued NASA a parking ticket for $20.


9. NASA plans to lasso an asteroid and drag it to the moon for astronauts to walk on.


10. Earth is being shadowed by a minor planet called 2010 TK7, a 300-meter diameter Trojan asteroid that orbits the sun in a spiral pattern every 365.3 days, 60° ahead of Earth's track through space. It has a gravitational force 1/20000 that of Earth and was only discovered in 2010.


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114581 Asclepius

4581 Asclepius

In March 1989, an asteroid passed through the exact position where Earth was only six hours earlier.


12. The Richter Scale doesn't stop at 10.0 and that asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was equivalent in energy release to a 13.0 earthquake.


13. J002E3, originally thought to be an asteroid orbiting the Earth, is actually part of the Apollo 12 mission that returned to Earth orbit after 31 years of orbiting the Sun.


14. The average distance between asteroids in space is over 100,000 miles, meaning an asteroid field would be very simple to navigate.


15. Two former U.S. astronauts started an organization, independent from NASA, dedicated to launch a telescope called "The Sentinel" that will orbit the Sun and detect any Earth-bound asteroid threats up to decades in advance.


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16Dinosaur extinction

Dinosaur extinction

New research indicates the asteroid that killed the Dinosaurs did so, not primarily due to dust blocking out the sun, but by ejecting ~500 cubic miles of tiny glass spherules at near escape velocity. Upon falling to earth they incinerated nearly all surface life in a matter of minutes.


17. The tallest known mountain in the solar system is on an asteroid (Rheasilvia).


18. The complex nuclear contents of a neutron star are all named after Italian food.


19. Most of the gold that is present today in the Earth's crust and mantle was delivered to Earth by asteroid impacts.


20. There's an asteroid in the asteroid belt named after wikipedia (274301 Wikipedia).


21B612 Foundation

B612 Foundation

There is a non-profit organization called B612 which is dedicated to defending the Earth against asteroids.


22. Bill Nye The Science Guy Has a Plan to Launch Laser Bees into Space to Defend Earth Against Asteroids.


23. The dinosaur extinction event is marked by a thin layer of sediment all over the world, which contains 160 times as much Iridium as normal evidence of the global devastation caused by an asteroid impact


24. The Big Bang was initially rejected as a theory of the universe because of its "religious" implications and its origins; the originator of the theory was a Catholic priest.


25. One theory on why we live in three dimensions is that when the Big Bang occurred, only 3 of the 9 spatial dimensions expanded infinitely.

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