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Before stating the facts, let us ask ourselves the question, “What is space?” There are many answers to this question, some are logical and some are speculative but a simple answer would be that everything in the universe, around and beyond our planet earth including itself is called space. To us, space is a place that is full of mysteries and possibilities, in which a whole lot of it is yet to be discovered
FACT#1 Space is completely silent.
As space itself is a vacuum, no air exists for sound to travel through. If the person next to you is screaming, you won’t be able to hear a thing. You may question, “How do astronauts communicate?” They do so through radio signals.
FACT#2 A day on the Venus planet lasts longer than a year.
Venus is the only planet in the solar system that rotates in the opposite direction. Its rotation around its own axis is much slower than its rotation around the sun. It takes Venus 224 earth days to rotate around the sun and 243 earth days to rotate on its axis just once.
FACT#3 Space is much closer than you think.
Space starts from the universal marker of the Karman line. This invincible line is 100km above Earth’s surface, so imagine if you could drive your car vertically, you could possibly be in space in less than an hour!
FACT#4 Mercury is not the hottest planet in our solar system.
Even though Mercury is located closest to the Sun, it is not the hottest planet in our solar system. The reason being that it has no atmosphere. Although the temperature of the side facing the Sun rises to 430°, the opposite side can be as cold as -180°C. Venus is the hottest planet as its thick cloud captures and traps the Sun’s heat causing Venus to be a sizzling 500°C all the time.
FACT#5 The number of stars in the known universe are uncountable.
We clearly don’t know how many stars there are in the known universe, as scientists say that there are about 5 to 10 times more stars in the universe then the total number of grains of sand of all the beaches on earth. NASA can only confidently say that that there are zillions of uncountable stars.
FACT#6 The Sun has the largest portion of the whole solar system mass.
The Sun is the largest planet in our solar containing 99% of the total mass of the solar system. In fact, it is so big that one million Earths can fit inside it. However, despite its mass, the Sun is not the largest star as there are many stars in the known universe which are way bigger than the Sun. VY Canis Majoris, the largest star ever discovered, is a billion times larger than the Sun.
FACT#7 You actually get taller in space.
Many changes occur to our human body in microgravity; one being that our spine straightens out. This means that you can be as much as 5cm taller in the space station.
FACT#8 A footprint on the moon will remain there for eternity.
if you were to ever step on the moon, your footprint would remain there forever. There is no atmosphere on the moon so no wind or water would erode or wash away the footprint. Because of this, the footprint of the Apollo astronauts would still be present on the moon.
FACT#9 Saturn is the second biggest and the lightest planet in the solar system.
Although Saturn is the second biggest planet in the solar system, it is also the least dense planet of all as it is a gas giant made up of mostly hydrogen and helium. It is made out of the two lightest elements in the universe. Just imagine this, if we put Saturn in a giant glass of water, it would actually float!
FACT#10 Metals get permanently stuck together in space.
A process called cold welding takes place in the vacuum of space when pieces of metals are made to stick together. This doesn’t happen on earth because the atmosphere puts a layer of oxidized material between the surfaces. This might seem like a problem in the space station but all of their equipment have already been coated with a material which prevents them from permanently sticking together.
Did you know? Neil Armstrong put his left foot first on the moon.