Space, the final frontier. There is still very little that we actually understand about the vast universe that we live in. (Check out our list on 25 Puzzling Mysteries From Outer Space That Will Leave You Baffled if you’re curious to see some of what scientists are still trying to figure out.) However, what we do know is that space is very clearly trying its best to kill us all. From deadly radiation to exploding super-stars, the galaxy is dangerous enough to make even the bravest (or craziest) astronauts think twice before deciding to exit our nice, protective atmosphere. Still, the human race is determined to go out and explore the cosmos, so just to make sure we know exactly what we’re getting into, here are 25 Space Facts That Will Both Terrify And Amaze You.
Here on Earth, gases in the atmosphere react with metals to create a thin layer of oxidization. The vacuum of space, however, has no atmosphere and therefore causes no oxidation to form on metals, leading to an interesting reaction. This reaction is called cold welding and it occurs when two metals of the same molecular makeup are pressed together and fused together permanently as if they were one piece. While this may sound neat, it caused quite a few problems on the first satellites and can make in-space repairs very tricky.
The universe is massive and unbelievably old, so the chances of other planets similar to Earth evolving life is not unlikely at all. According to Fermi’s paradox, the high probability of extraterrestrial life out in space is contradictory to the lack of apparent evidence supporting it. At this point, we aren’t sure which is scarier; the fact that we might not be alone in the universe, or the possibility that we are.
Launched into space after the formation of their planetary system, rogue planets are planetary bodies that are free to roam the cosmos, crashing into things as they go. Because they do not orbit a sun, rogue planets often have freezing surface temperatures. However, due to their molten cores and icy insulation, some scientists theorize that these free-roaming planets could contain massive subterranean oceans that support life.
In 1969, it took the Apollo 11 lunar module 3 days to land on our own natural satellite, the Moon. Since then our technology has increased rapidly; We could expect to reach Mars in 7-9 months, and reaching Pluto would only take about 10 years. Distances outside of our Solar System become even more extreme; even traveling at the speed of light, it would take us over 4 years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centurion, and over 100,000 years to reach the galactic center of the Milky Way.
Depending on where you are in space, chances are you are going to find yourself in some pretty extreme conditions. The heat put off by a supernova can reach temperatures of 50 million degrees Celsius or more, five time that of a nuclear explosion. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the cosmic background temperature of space measures minus 270 degrees Celsius, just slightly warmer than absolute zero. You definitely won’t want to forget your jacket.
Does the thought of -270 Celsius make you want to turn up the heat? Wait until you see numbers 9 & 3!