Facts about Space!

6 Astonishing Space Facts!

1. All of space is completely silent.

Sound waves need a medium to travel through. Since there is no atmosphere in space, space will always be eerily silent.

You may be asking how astronauts can talk to each other in space. Lucky for them, radio waves can travel through space. No problem there, Houston.

Source: Cornell University Department of Astronomy

Sound waves need a medium to travel through. Since there is no atmosphere in space, space will always be eerily silent. Luckily, radio waves can – therefore communication for Astronomers is not a problem!

Source: Cornell University Department of Astronomy

2. 99% of our solar system’s mass is the sun.

Our star, the Sun, is so dense that it accounts for a whopping 99% of our entire solar system. That's what it allows it to dominate it gravitationally. Technically, our Sun is a "G-type main-sequence star" which means that every second, it fuses approximately 600 million tons of hydrogen to helium. This means that it also converts about 4 million tons of matter to energy as a byproduct. 

Being the type of star that the Sun is, it also means that when it dies, it will become a red giant and envelop the earth and everything on it. But don't worry: That won't happen for another 5 billion years.

Source: The Ohio State University Department of Astronomy

Our star, the Sun, is so dense that it accounts for 99% of our entire solar system!

Source:The Ohio State University Department of Astronomy

3. If two pieces of the same type of metal touch in space, they will bond and be permanently stuck together.

This amazing effect is called cold welding. It happens because the atoms of the individual pieces of metal have no way of knowing that they are different pieces of metal, so the lumps join together. This wouldn't happen on earth because there is air and water separating the pieces. The effect has a lot of implication for spacecraft construction and the future of metal-based construction in vacuums.

 Source: European Space Agency

This amazing effect is called cold welding. It happens because the atoms of the individual pieces of metal have no way of knowing that they are different pieces of metal, so the pieces join together.

Source: European Space Agency

4. The largest asteroid ever recorded is a mammoth piece of space rock named Ceres.

The asteroid is almost 600 miles in diameter. It's by far the largest in the asteroid belt and accounts for a whole third of the belt's mass. The surface area is approximately equal to the land area of India or Argentina. It's so big, there's actually some debate over whether to refer to it as a dwarf planet instead of an asteroid, even if it has mostly asteroid-like qualities. 

Ceres piques our interest specifically, as water in the form of ice has been spotted on its surface. An unmanned spacecraft named Dawn is due to be orbiting the space rock by 2015.

Source: TheGuardian.com

The asteroid is almost 600 miles in diameter.  The surface area is approximately equal to the land area of India or Argentina!

Source: TheGuardian.com

5. More energy from the sun hits Earth every hour than the planet uses in a year.

You should be sad to know that solar technology produces less than one-tenth of 1% of global energy demand. This is due to several factors, including how much land is required for solar panels to capture enough energy for a population of people to use, how unreliable it is in bad weather and at night, and how expensive the technology is to install.

Despite all these drawbacks, the use of solar energy has increased at a rate of 20% each year for the past 15 years.

Source: National Geographic

The Earth receives an average solar insolation of 1361 Watts per square meter at the top of the atmosphere. *

Source: National Geographic & Quora