You Won’t Believe These 75 Shocking Facts About the Universe – Part 2

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51Harlow Shapley

Harlow Shapley

Harlow Shapley, the man who discovered where our sun is in relation to our galaxy, picked astronomy to study as his major because it was the first one he saw in the course catalog.


52. There is a galaxy called LEDA 074886 that has a rectangular shape.


53. There are ring galaxies, called Hoag's Objects, where young hot stars form a nearly perfect circle around a spherical core of old cooler stars.


54. If the largest star in the Galaxy was placed at the center of our Solar System, its surface would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter.


55. Scientists recently discovered that some of the most powerful "Space Winds" in the universe, blowing at 125 million mph from black holes could be killing galaxies.


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56Giant Blue Stars

Giant Blue Stars

Astronomers have discovered 18 giant blue stars being ejected out of our galaxy and scientists are unsure how the stars are being propelled.


57. When the binary star system WR 104 goes supernova, within a couple thousand years, it could possibly hit Earth with a gamma ray burst, causing a mass extinction.


58. Gamma-Ray bursts could possibly be the cause behind the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event, an event that left all life on Earth restricted to the oceans.


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


60. 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.


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61Giant Star

Giant Star

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.


62. 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.


63. 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.


64. 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.


65. 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.


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66Ann Hodges

Ann Hodges

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.


67. 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.


68. 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).


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


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


71Third Mithridatic War

Third Mithridatic War

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.


72. 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.


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


74. 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.


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

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