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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Universe Facts

Big Bang The universe is very big; in fact, it is bigger than anything else we know about. We can see that it exists as far as around 13.7 billion light-years (light years) from us. We also know that there is more beyond the edge of the observable universe, but we don’t know how much. The universe is expanding all the time—it is bigger now than when you started reading this sentence!

Fact 1

When the universe started in the explosive event called the Big Bang around 13.7 billion years ago, it was smaller than a period on this page.

Fact 2

Within one trillionth of a second it ballooned to around the size of a soccer field.

Fact 3

The young universe was incredibly hot and made up of tiny particles of matter. It has been expanding, cooling, and changing ever since.

Fact 4

In 1998, astronomers discovered that the universe’s expansion rate is not slowing down as they thought, but accelerating.

Fact 5

For the past 5–6 billion years, the universe has been getting bigger at a faster and faster rate.

Fact 6

The most distant object that most people can see with the naked eye is the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million ly away. In good conditions, some people can see the Triangulum galaxy, 3 million ly away.

Fact 7: Ten brightest stars from Earth

1. Sun
2. Sirius
3. Canopus
4. Rigil Kentaurus
5. Arcturus
6. Vega
7. Capella
8. Rigel
9. Procyon
10. Achernar

Fact 8: The Sun

1. The Sun has shone for around 4.6 billion years and will continue to shine for around another five billion years.

2. It is a huge ball of glowing gas: around 75% hydrogen, 25% helium, and tiny amounts of around 90 other elements.

3. At the Sun’s core, the temperature is 27 million ° (15 million °C), but the surface is a cooler 9,900°F (5,500°C).

4. When seen in ultraviolet light (left), the Sun appears deep orange.

Fact In Numbers about the Univierse

  • 1.3 million

    The number of Earths that could fit inside the Sun
  • 864,000

    The width of the Sun in miles (1.4 million km)
  • 3.26 million

    The universe expands by around 45 miles (72 km) per second for every 3.26 million ly
  • 27

    The distance in light-years from the Sun to the center of the Milky Way
  • 125 billion

    The minimum number of galaxies in the universe
  • 8

    The average distance in light-years between stars in the vicinity of the Sun
  • 8.50

    The number of minutes and seconds it takes for the Sun’s light to reach Earth
  • 28

    The number of objects depicted in constellations; it includes Crux (the cross), the smallest constellation of all with only four stars
  • 109

    The number of Earths that could fit across the face of the Sun
  • 1,000

    The largest stars are 1,000 times wider than the Sun; the smallest are around one-hundredth the Sun’s width
  • 8,700

    (14,000 km) The width of a white dwarf star, which is what the Sun will be in around five billion years

Facts about our Moon

  • Diameter 2,160 miles (3,476 km)
  • Rotation period 27.3 days
  • Orbital period 27.3 days
  • Surface temperature -240°F to 240°F (-150°C to 120°C)
  • Gravity at equator 0.165 (Earth = 1)
  • Moving away from Earth The Moon was originally much closer to the Earth than it is now. It is moving away at around 1.5 in (3.8 cm) per year.
  • The first-ever pictures of the far side of the Moon were taken by the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 in October 1959.
to be continued....

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