Amazing Facts » Fun Facts About Outer Space
Read our fun facts about space and outer space for kids and increase your kids knowledge about the sun, planets, moon, astronomy, the galaxy, milky way, galaxy and more.
- Our solar system comprises of the sun, and all the objects in its orbit. This consists of things such as planets, moons, asteroids, comets, meteoroids and other interstellar matter.
- The Solar System was formed over four and a half billion years ago.
- The nine planets that constitute the Solar System are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
- It was only recently humans came to be aware of the Solar System. Until then, it was believed that Earth was to be the center of the Universe. Famous Astronomers such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Kepler helped develop modules that explained the solar system, sun and the movement of planets.
- While the Sun makes up about 99.85 percent of the total mass of the Solar System, the planets Jupiter and Saturn make up the rest. The smaller remaining planets constitute an exceedingly small percentage.
- Many large asteroids had hit the solar system during its initial stages. This, in a way,also helped in its formation to what we see it today. Astronomers believe that Venus current backward rotation is a result of a massive meteorite crashing into it. Unlike the other planets, it is almost upside down and spinning backwards. Likewise, Neptune too, was hit by a huge meteor that knocked it sideways on its axis, with one pole pointing at the sun. Of course, the Earth too wasn’t spared. A colossal meteor, believed to be the size of Mars crashed into Earth a few billion years ago. It is also believed that the Moon was a result of the debris that was shot into space.
- Another interesting fact… Assuming that you are standing still on the Earth. It is understood, despite being still, you are moving at thousands of kmph, given the Earth's rotation. Now this velocity would further be exponentially increased by the Earth's orbit around the sun. Now take into account the massive speed at which the solar system revolves around the center of the Milky Way. Finally, comprehend the Milky Way’s unfathomable speed at which it drifts away from the universe. Computing all this exponentially, is it possible to estimate the relative speed at which we actually move? Brrr… So, how close are we travelling to the speed of light?
Now for some fun trivia…
- It was recorded during the 16th century, that early scientists had apparently witnessed a huge explosion on one side of the moon. It would have probably been a meteor that must have slammed into the moon. In a way, earth should be thankful that the moon is there to protect us. Otherwise, an impact so huge would have been catastrophic to the earth.
- Big stars, when viewed through even the biggest of telescopes appear to seem like small points of light. However, Astronomers utilizing the large Hubble Space Telescope have not too recently been able to photograph the surface of a star known as Betelgeuse. It is a large star, reddish in color and situated at the top left side of the constellation Orion, and is currently considered the biggest known star in our galaxy.
- The Hubble Telescope has been able to shoot pictures of auroras on Jupiter and Saturn, which are similar to the ones at our North and South Poles. If by any chance, we had auroras as big as the ones in those planets, it would have covered the whole Earth… Whew!
- Did you know that the rings of Saturn slowly wobble up and down over the years as Saturn’s poles, point far away from them, towards the sun? The rings disappear once it edges on to our line of sight. Presently, they are virtually at their widest points and it is visible to us through binoculars and telescopes.
- Another interesting fact is that if you somehow happened to put the planet Saturn on a sufficiently large bowl of water, it would float – but then, where would we get such a bowl?
- Our astronomers or space travelers can unwind after a hard day’s work, with a decent glass of icy water from the planet Mercury, the planet nearest to the sun. Since there is no atmosphere in Mercury to spread warmth around, cavities in the poles would be able to hold ice that was deposited because of comet crashes.
- Did you know that Jupiter is made entirely of gases?
- Are you aware of the fact that the first animal sent to outer space was a dog named Laika from Russia?
- If you could live on the planet Mercury, a year would only last 88 days.
- It is interesting to note that Titan, which is Saturn’s moon, has number of geysers that are very similar to the ones in Earth in its south poles. Any thoughts… Read more fun facts about outer space and our planetary system »