astronomy astronomy facts

20 Out Of This World Facts About The Universe That Will Sweep You Off Your Feet

We’ve compiled a list of the 20 most incredible facts about the universe you will ever come across. The infinite expanse of stars and galaxies are riddled with mysteries which leading scientists and experts are yet to explore. In their quest to unearth the hidden secret of the universe, startling facts and information have emerged - 20 of which we’ve featured below.

1. When you look into the night sky, you are looking back in time.

Originally posted by apparently-artless

 When we gaze at stars in the night sky, we are actually looking into the past. This happens because light emitted from a star has to travels many light years ahead to actually become visible to our eyes. For  example, Orion is 640 light-years away, so the light left the star around 1370 is what we are seeing now.

2. The Hubble telescope allows us to look back billions of years into the past

Originally posted by dreamofthedragon

NASA releases some incredible images of space, from time to time, and it’s made possible with The Hubble Telescope. Here’s an image which is a collection of 10,000 images captured by The Hubble. 

3. You can watch the Big Bang on your television

Cosmic background radiation is an after effect of the Big Bang, the event that allegedly gave birth to the universe. This can actually be seen on television where the old fuzzy noise we saw contains 1% of the same radiation. 

4. There’s a giant cloud of alcohol in Sagittarius B

Sagittarius B, is a huge cloud of vinyl alcohol whizzing in space near the Milky Way. It’s important as it leaves crucial information for scientists about how early life forms originated in space.

5. There’s a planet-sized diamond in Centaurus named after a Beatles song

Originally posted by iclalove

A planet , made completely of diamond, which has been called Lucy by scientists after the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,”  can be found 50 light years away in Centaurus and weighs in a mind boggling 10 billion-trillion-trillion carats. 

6. It takes 225 million years for our Sun to travel around the galaxy

Originally posted by toomanythoughtanddreams

While our planets in the solar system circumnavigate the Sun, the star itself it on a orbit around the Milky Way. And if we’re counting in humans years, it takes 225 million years to complete the journey. 

7. Our solar system’s biggest mountain is on Mars

The tallest mountain in our solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars. It’s calculated  to be three times taller than Everest, spanning 600 kilometers across and 26 kilometers in height. 

8. Uranus spins on its side, with some rather strange results

Originally posted by spaceplasma

Uranus is not just unique because of its strange spinning, but the consequences of that effect results in 42 consecutive years of summer sunlight followed by another 42 consecutive winter darkness.

9. A year on Venus is shorter than its day

Originally posted by spaceplasma

Venus is the slowest rotating planet in our solar system - it takes longer to finish a rotation on its axis than orbit the entire Sun!

10. Neutron stars are the fastest spinning objects known in the universe

The fastest spinning known pulsar, a neutron star which emits a radiation beam as light, cycles on a whopping 70,000 km per hour speed.

11. A spoonful of a neutron star weighs about a billion ton

Neutron stars are unimaginably dense, in fact one spoonful of one such star would weigh around a billion tons!

12. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is the most distant human-made object from Earth

In 1977, the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were released into space as an ambitious project and are still cruising the outskirts of our galaxy and maybe beyond to help us explore space even further.

13. Voyager 1 captured the most distant photograph of Earth

The same spacecraft, Voyager 1, took the most distant photograph of Earth: Voyager 1 took a shot of the Earth from the far reaches of space in 1990, and the small speck at the end of the image that is the world we’re living on right now became known as the Pale Blue Dot. Astronomer Carl Sagan noted,“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.”

14. Scientists are looking for evidence of extraterrestrial life on Earth

Originally posted by ajshostak

One of the most exciting mysteries of the universe is a quest to find aliens, or as termed by scientists a project called The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), where they are pulling n all data about extraterrestrial life on other planets through evidence they have at their hands.

15. It is estimated there are 400 billion stars in our galaxy

Originally posted by thelucidnation

Our own Sun is one of 400 billion others, some astoundingly larger, some smaller, in the Milky Way alone. 

16. There could be 500 million planets capable of supporting life in our galaxy

“Goldilocks Planets” are  habitable planets which fall into a specific zone around the star to make life sustainable on it. Many factors come into play to get this perfect distance such as temperature, atmospheric content, water, chemical compounds on the surface etc. 

17. There are probably more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe

Based on extensive calculations, using data from the Hubble Telescope and as far as it can see into space, there’s a probable 170 billion galaxies besides our own Milky Way.

18. There could be an infinite number of universes

Originally posted by sci-universe

Speculative theories in advanced branches of science such as mathematics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics have summed up that we could be living in a “multiverse”- a convergence of an infinite number of universes. 

19. The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe

Originally posted by teapotsandroses

Our brain is a blueprint for the most complex network in the universe, with over a hundred billion neurons and quadrillion connections- this system isn’t even the tip of the iceberg which we know about what our brains have the potential to achieve.

20. We are all made of stardust

Originally posted by drugsruleeverythingaroundme

Carl Sagan beautifully summarises this fact, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” In fact, every element on Earth transpired from a burning heart of a star.

This is Earth, our amazing home. The only planet in the solar system with the ability to harbor life (that we know of).

This is the distance between our awesome planet and the moon. 

Doesn’t look that far does it? How about if I told you that you could fit EVERY planet in our solar system neatly in that distance. 

Speaking of the other planets in our solar system, this is them & this is where our amazing planet resides.

The moon’s our cute little companion. This is the United States compared to it.

The planets in the solar system are so cool. This is what North America looks like in comparison to Jupiter. 

Speaking of Jupiter and the moon, this is what it would look like if Jupiter was in the place of the moon. (The white dot is our moon). 

Earth compared to Saturn (well 6 Earths…)

Ever wonder about what Earth would look like if it had rings like Saturn? Well wonder no more.. 

Amazing right? Want to see something cooler? Here is the Earth compared to our Sun. 

Here’s what we look like from the moon

And from Mars

From Saturn 

From Neptune…

Here is what the Sun looks like from Mars

Remember what Carl Sagan said? There are more stars in space than grains of sand on every beach in the Earth. 

That’s a lot right? That only means there are stars way larger than our this one for example: 

And there are stars bigger than that….

Stars are huge, but the galaxy is even bigger. If you shrunk the Sun down to the size of a white blood cell, the Milky Way Galaxy would be the size of the United States. 

This is where the Earth is in our huge galaxy 

You know all the stars we see in the sky? These are the ones we only ever see (this isn’t our galaxy but its very similar)

The Milky Way is so big that the last time the Earth was in this exact position in the galaxy, the dinosaurs were here

Even though our galaxy is huge, there are galaxies that are even bigger…

This picture from Hubble shows thousands of thousands of thousands of galaxies that each have their own stars with their own planets…

Here is one of the galaxies in that picture. It is 10 BILLION light years away. When we look at it, we are looking 10 BILLION YEARS BACK IN TIME

And just to keep this in mind, this is a very small portion of the sky that was believed to be empty…

Everything is relative. 

Next time you’re stressed out or worried about something, stop and take a step back. Look up at the sky and think about all of the things that are out there. All the stars being born, the stars dying, galaxies colliding. 

We live in such an amazing universe, and we are only an extremely tiny part of it. 

Credit- pictures from: Buzzfeed on Facebook

Space fact #5

If you and I are in separate space ships both traveling fast, there’s literally no possible way to determine if I am staying still and you are moving, or if you are staying still and I am moving, or if we are both moving. Also, from your perspective time will flow normally for you and slower for me, but from my perspective time will flow normally for me and slow for you.

Basically, everything, including time, is completely relative.

why we love and hate the signs
•love: they’re always positive and lighten the mood
•hate: they talk about themselves too much
•love: they’re always there for you
•hate: they’re stubborn af so they’ll never apologize first
•love: they’ll laugh at all your jokes
•hate: they’re fake and rude af
•love: they’re nurturing
•hate: they get offended so easily
•love: they’re funny af
•hate: they’re too confident sometimes and it comes off as extremely cocky
•love: they’re super friendly
•hate: they’re picky, control freaks
•love: you can talk to them about anything
•hate: they try to act superior
•love: once you’re friends they have your back for life
•hate: they will also hold grudges for life
•love: they’re always fun to be around
•hate: they make jokes at the expense of other people
•love: they’ll listen to you and give you advice
•hate: they’re fucking boring
•love: they know so many random things and use big words (never a boring convo)
•hate: they’ll make you feel stupid af if you don’t share the same views or if you make a mistake
•love: they can talk for hours about anything, very passionate
•hate: they are always complaining and making it seem like they’re the only ones who have issues
Zodiac Constellations and their Brightest Stars

And Distance from Earth (light yrs)

Aries- Hamal (65.8 light yrs)  Derived from Arabic meaning of "head of the ram".

Taurus- Aldebaran (65 light yrs)  Arabic meaning “the follower”.

Gemini- Pollux (33.78 light yrs)  Reference to the twin sons Castor and Pollux of Leda, one of Zeus’s lovers.

Cancer- Altarf (290 light yrs) Arabic meaning “end” or “edge”. 

Leo- Regulus (79 light yrs) Latin for “little king” or “prince”. 

Virgo- Spica (260.9 light yrs) Derived from Latin “spīca virginis”- “the virgin’s ear of [wheat] grain”.

Libra- Zubeneschamali (185 light yrs) Arabic for “the northern claw”.

Scorpio- Antares (470 light yrs) Derived from Ancient Greek meaning “equal to Ares” due to its reddish hue. 

Sagittarius- Kaus Australis (143 light yrs) Kaus comes from Arabic qaws meaning “bow” and Latin australis meaning “southern”. 

Capricorn- Deneb Algedi (39 light yrs) Derived from the Arabic meaning for “tail of the goat”.

Aquarius- Sadalsuud (540 light yrs). From the Arabic expression “luck of lucks”. 

Pisces- Kullat Nunu (294 light yrs) Babylonian reference to the cord connecting the fish. 

The Pinocchio paradox -

what would happen to Pinocchio nose if he said “my nose will grow now” if his nose doesn’t grow, he was lying therefore it will grow… but if it grows, then he was telling the truth.

Would it shrink back down and grow for eternity as it goes back between truth and lie? It’s a paradox!

Hey if you’re not tired of all the eclipse posts in every other corner of your life, here’s one more!

Eclipses aren’t just cool to view - they also give scientists a small window of time to study things. Many animals shift to nighttime behaviors, only to reemerge a few minutes later when the sun returns. Temperatures can drop up to 20 degrees. Most importantly, the Sun’s corona becomes visible - normally it is difficult to study because its light is weak compared to the rest of the Sun. With the Moon blocking the Sun, scientists can make observations about the corona and try to understand the coronal mass ejections that can knock out satellites and power grids.

Click here for a larger version

8 Facts About Nebulae

1. Nebulae are a mixture of the gases hydrogen and helium, as well as dust and plasma.

2. The beautiful pictures of nebulae that the Hubble telescope beams down are actually three different channels of black and white, which are mixed and painted by scientists to produce the vibrant colors we see in magazines and on television. (The layers are painted according to the composition of the different gasses within the specific nebula.)

3. The word nebula means “cloud” in Latin; indeed, nebulae are space. Variously, the meaning has also been given to mean “mist”; it’s fitting, because their varying appearances sometimes do look like a cloud of mist.

4. The galaxy Andromeda was initially believed to be a nebula before Edwin Hubble proved that Andromeda was actually a galaxy all its own in the 1920’s. Before then, it was believed that other galaxies were merely nebulas and that the universe only consisted of the Milky Way.

Keep reading