The concept of Space and Space exploration can lead to many questions. Why isn’t Pluto a planet? Can you hear anything in Space? How many space stations are there? What happens when an astronaut farts in Space? Want the answers to these questions and so much more? Here are 25 Space Facts You’ve Always Wanted To Know.
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How far away is the closest star, aside from Sol (our sun)?
4.24 light years. Her name is Proxima Centauri. The best way to kind of visualize that distance is, if you shrunk Sol and Proxima Centauri down to the size of grapefruits, they’d still be around 2,500 miles (from the East coast of the US to the West Coast) apart. Realistically, Sol alone is big enough you could fit well over 1 million Earths inside of it.
Do any private entities like Space X even have plans to go to Mars?
Yup, they do! In fact, Elon Musk (founder of Space X, Tesla, and PayPal) want to set up a human colony on Mars between 2050 and 2100 of one million people. While that sounds kind of crazy, Space X is doing amazing things, and the timeline shows it’s not a joke; it’s a realistic goal.
Pluto has been bumped from Planet to Dwarf Planet, so what's the difference between the two?
There’s really only one difference, and that’s if the celestial body in question has cleared the neighborhood around it’s orbit. A Planet has cleared the area surrounding it, a Dwarf Planet has not. The other two requirements that apply to Planets and Dwarf Planets are 1) that the planet in question is in orbit around a star but not itself a satellite, and 2) has sufficient mass to be round.
Since Pluto is now a Dwarf Planet, are there other Dwarf Planets in our Solar System?
Yep, there are five dwarf planets in our Solar System total: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea. Pluto isn’t even the biggest one. The largest Dwarf Planet in our solar system is Eris. She’s about 27% bigger than Pluto. (Bonus fact, Eris was the goddess of discord in Greek Mythology.)
Is it possible for us to be invaded by aliens?
Yep! Is it likely to happen? Not really. There’s a few reasons for this: The HUGE distances between stars and galaxies in space. (Most of us can’t really comprehend it.) Plus, we have that pesky human problem. Why would a significantly advanced civilization spend years of time and resources to come here?
Photos: Feature Image: Pixabay (public domain), 23. Luis Lima89989, Sound wave, CC BY-SA 3.0, 22. NASA Blueshift via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 20. ESO/M. Kornmesser, Eso1509a – Mars planet, CC BY 4.0, 14. Orin Zebest via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 13. No machine-readable author provided. Towsonu2003~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., Fart, CC BY-SA 3.0, 12. ESA/Hubble, Ngc6397 hst blue straggler, CC BY 4.0, 9. Miguel Soares, S4-space-junk-045, CC BY-SA 4.0, 5. Hubble ESA via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 4. Max Pixel (public domain), 2. NASA, ESA, and A. Schaller (for STScI), 2006-16-a-full-1-, CC BY 4.0