The universe had always been a matter of great interest among us humans. The vast universe has lots of amazing and incredible phenomenon within it which can fill anyone with awe. Everyday new and unique celestial objects and phenomenon in the universe are being discovered. Let’s explore some interesting facts about the universe we live in.
1. The universe is 130 million years old
Our universe was formed after the Big Bang which is estimated to have happened about 13.7 billion years ago.
2. Everything is in motion
In this universe everything is in motion. Planets, galaxy, stars, rocks and even dust; all are continuously moving. We too are moving even when we are standing still or sleeping or sitting in one place. Want to know how? Well, you may not be showing displacement on surface of earth but the earth is continuously moving. So, when you look through the universe, you have covered about 20,000 kilometer of the universe in a minute while sitting/standing/sleeping on earth.
Who says you are lazy?
3. A view through Telescope is like looking into past
It is very interesting to look at the universe through telescope; to see all the stars and galaxies and their vibrant colors. But what we actually see had happened millions or billions of years back in the past. You can never see the present universe through the telescope; not even through the Hubble Telescope.
Source: lifehack.org, image: wikimedia.org
4. We are stardust
No, it’s not fiction as in the movie “Stardust”; rather it’s true. We are made out of star! It had been established through research that any element which is heavier than hydrogen has its origin through a star. And we are of course made of stuff much heavier than hydrogen.
Next time anyone asks you who you are; say I am a star!
5. The heaviest object in space
Neutron stars are the heaviest object known till date among all others. Their size is quite small i.e. about 10 – 13 miles in diameter. But they are the heaviest. The weight of just a sugar cube amount of neutron star is about 100 million tons!
Source: thefw.com, image: wikimedia.org
6. The fastest spin
Till now researchers have found out that in the universe among all the objects, Neutron Stars have the fastest spin. Among Neutron stars the fastest spin that had been found out is of a pulsar known as PSRJ1748-2446ad. Its equator spins at the speed of more than 70,000 kilometers per second which is about 24% the speed of light.
Source: lifehack.org, image: wikimedia.org
7. The planet of burning ice
There is a planet named Gliese which is outside our solar system and is covered in ice that is very hot. The ice is completely solid yet it is so hot that it emits steam! Strange.
Source: omgfacts.com, image: wikimedia.org
Quasar is a unique phenomenon occurring near black holes which was at first detected in the 1960s. But scientists at that time didn’t know what it is and named it quasi- stellar- objects or quasars. Later on it was found out that the quasars are formed when gases gets too close to black hole and swirls around it, forming an accretion disk around it. They heat up due to friction and then blast releasing huge amount of radiation. The enormous amount of light released due to this phenomenon makes quasar an incredibly bright object in the universe.
Source: universetoday.com, image: wikimedia.org
9. The smell of Universe
Our universe has its own smell. Astronauts who have visited the space hadn’t smelled the universe directly or through space suit. But when they return back from space astronauts reports that their space suit smells like seared steak, arc welding fumes and hot metals!
Even though there is no distinct explanation but it is thought that this smell is imparted to the universe due to the byproducts of dying stars scattered all over the universe.
10. Milky Way has a smell and taste too!
Unlike the burnt smell of universe, our Milky Way Galaxy has a much pleasant smell. After the research by Max Plank Institute it had been found out that the middle of our Milky Way Galaxy smells like raspberries and has the taste of Rum! The smell and taste is mainly due to ethyl formate which is readily found in center of Milky Way galaxy.
Looks like our galaxy likes to party!
11. Moon’s stench
Since we know how universe and our Milky Way smells like; we came a bit closer to home and found out that our moon smells too. Astronauts who visited moon while on the Apollo mission described the smell of moon powder as that of gun powder! The source of this smell had not been discovered yet.
12. Milky Way’s Pub
Just like us, our galaxy too has its own pub situated in Sagittarius B. Located about 190 light years away from the center of Milky Way galaxy, the Sagittarius B is a giant cloud of gas and dust. But mainly it is composed of billions of liters of alcohol like ethanol, methanol and vinyl alcohol.
Next party on Sagittarius B! Wooho!
13. Four arms of Milky Way
Earlier it was thought that Milky Way has just two arms. But actually our galaxy has four spiral arms.
14. A planet where it rains glass
NASA’s Hubble space telescope has discovered a planet situated 63 light years away called HD 189733b. This most interesting phenomenon happening on this cobalt blue planet is the sideways glass rain. Droplets of glass are continuously raining on this planet and it’s raining sideways due to the 5,500 mph wind that is blowing on its surface.