Monday, October 18, 2021

4 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Space

There are so many amazing facts about space. Scientists are making new discoveries all the time and it’s difficult to keep abreast of all the new information. Hopefully, you can learn something new from these facts and you would be surprised just how many people don’t know much about space at all.

4 facts about space

1. Free-floating planets

Artist's concept of a Jupiter-like planet alone in the dark of space.
This artist’s concept illustrates a Jupiter-like planet alone in the dark of space, floating freely without a parent star. Astronomers recently uncovered evidence for 10 such lone worlds, thought to have been ‘booted,’ or ejected, from developing solar systems. (Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Mario Perez, an exoplanet program scientist at NASA, said: “Although free-floating planets have been predicted, they finally have been detected, holding major implications for planetary formation and evolution models.”

It has been estimated that there are about twice as many free-planets as stars.

They are as common as planets that orbit stars; this would add up to hundreds of billions of these floating planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone.

Rogue planets — planets without a parent star:

2. Verona Rupes, the tallest cliff in the Solar System  

Image of Verona Rupes captured by Voyager 2 in 1986.
The above image of Verona Rupes was captured by the passing Voyager 2 robotic spacecraft in 1986. How the giant cliff was created remains unknown, but it is possibly related to a large impact or tectonic surface motion. (Image: Voyager 2, NASA)

Verona Rupes sits on Uranus’ moon Miranda, and it is estimated to be 12 miles (20 km) deep. That would make it 10 times deeper than the Grand Canyon. With Miranda having low gravity, it would take about 12 minutes for you to fall from the top to the bottom. But by the time you got to the bottom, you would be traveling about 125 mph (200 km/h).

Uranus' icy moon Miranda is seen in this image from NASA's Voyager 2 probe on Jan. 24, 1986.
Uranus’ icy moon Miranda is seen in this image from NASA’s Voyager 2 probe on Jan. 24, 1986. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

3. The solar mystery

NASA image of the sun and its corona.
The Sun’s corona is much hotter than the Sun itself. (Image: Solar Dynamics Observatory via NASA)

The Sun’s surface is estimated to be 10,000°F, but the corona, which is the largest part of the sun’s atmosphere, is over 200 times hotter (millions of degrees Fahrenheit). Scientists are not sure why, but one potential explanation is magnetic forces.

An explosion in space as seen from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have studied one particular explosion that may provide clues to the dynamics of other, much larger stellar eruptions. (Image: via NASA / CXC / U. Wisconsin / S. Heinz)

4. Trojan asteroid shares orbit with Earth

Artist's rendition of an asteroid sharing the same orbit as the Earth.
Trojan asteroid shares orbit with Earth. (Image: JPL-Caltech / UCLA via NASA)

The asteroid known as 2010 TK7 is the first known Earth Trojan asteroid. It was discovered by NEOWISE, which is the asteroid-hunting portion of NASA’s WISE mission. Trojan asteroids are asteroids that share an orbit with a planet and circle around the Sun in front of or behind the planet. It is not a moon because a moon would orbit the planet, not the Sun.

Asteroid is a dance partner for planet Earth:

Hope you learned something. If you have any more facts you think would help others, then put them into the comments.

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Troy Oakes
Troy was born and raised in Australia and has always wanted to know why and how things work, which led him to his love for science. He is a professional photographer and enjoys taking pictures of Australia's beautiful landscapes. He is also a professional storm chaser where he currently lives in Hervey Bay, Australia.
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