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People Break Down The Most Mind-Blowing Facts About Space

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Space.

It truly is the final frontier—a place so vast and unknown we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of truly knowing what awaits us out in the cosmos.

Space also has some things in it that are absolutely mind-blowing.  As space essentially holds the answers to the mysteries we humans seek about our existence, we explore—as much as physically possible in this day and age—even if it is dangerous.

Redditor TheLichB*tch asked some space fanatics:

“What are the most mind-blowing facts about deep space?”

Here are some of those answers.

Asteroid Fat, Pockets Full, I’m Going Shopping

“While NASA catalogs all the asteroids in the asteroid belt, they don’t actually take them into account when firing probes and such through it because it’s so spaced out that there’s a very low chance of them actually hitting the probe.”

“Densely packed asteroid fields where you’d have to dodge and weave through them are pretty much sci-fi.”-Tmaffa

“But there is enough mass there that calculations have to be made to account for small gravity perturbations.”

“I had a professor who had worked on the Voyager project on the team that plotted the trajectories.”

“He was disappointed that Voyager 1 reached Saturn on a path that was off by approximately 600 km from what they expected due to some incomplete information about objects in the asteroid belt. A discrepancy of 0.00000007%, so we forgave him.”-TheGooOnTheFloor

“Astronomer here! One thing I don’t think we discuss enough lately is that sharks are older than Saturn’s rings!”

“Explanation: recent research from the Cassini spacecraft indicate that Saturn’s rings are, in fact, very young- as young as 100 million years old.

“(We can tell this because years of bombardment from essentially tiny soot particles would make the rings much darker than they currently appear.”

“They definitely weren’t around 4.5 billion years, the age of the Solar System.) Sharks, on the other hand, have been around ~450 million years. Ergo, sharks > Saturn’s rings!”

“As for what caused the rings, it was likely an impact of some sort, and people are now arguing over the various details.”

“Here is a simulation of one of my favorites, which involves a comet hitting a large icy moon. Pretty lucky for us though, because TBH Saturn would appear nowhere near as incredible without the rings!”-Andromeda321

 

Zoom Zoom Zoom

“There’s a large cloud of dust and gas near the centre of the Milky Way called Sagittarius B2.”

“It contains a significant amount of alcohol — non-drinkable forms, but also standard ethanol — and also high levels of a compound called ethyl formate, which is used as a flavouring in raspberry flavoured things.”

“It’s also about 150 light years across, which is pretty damn big. The centre of the galaxy smells like a giant raspberry daiquiri… maybe.”-Portarossa

“Hold up your hands and clap them together. Wait one second, then do it again. If you could plot the distance between the first clap and the second clap, it would be more than 800 kilometers.”

“This is because the Earth is moving around the sun, the sun is moving around the center of the galaxy, the galaxy is moving through the Virgo Supercluster, and the Virgo Supercluster is barreling through the universe.”

“When you add up all the velocities and compare the result to the cosmic microwave background (which is the closest thing we have to a universal frame of reference), it comes out to about 800 kilometers per second.”

“Sit still for an hour, and you’ll travel farther than you’ll ever walk in your life.”-RamsesThePigeon

A Big Ole Nothin’

“The concept of voids has always been mind-bending to me. For those who aren’t familiar – our universe is basically formed of galactic groupings called ‘clusters’ and ‘filaments,’ depending on whether they are groupings or long strands.”

“Voids are the space in between these groupings, and are essentially massive zones of near-total nothingness, with something like ten times fewer particles than even interstellar space. Sh*t’s wild.”-KyleAparthos

“If you snap a piece of metal in half in the vacuum of space it will weld itself back together seamlessly if you rejoin the pieces.”

“The only thing that stops it from happening on Earth is because we have a pesky oxygen rich atmosphere that ruins everything cool. Except fire. Fire is cool.”-Tmaffa

“Space is empty, like, really empty. If you flew a spacecraft from one side of the galaxy to the other, what are the chances you run into something?”

“What is ‘something’? If you go through the galaxy you’re guaranteed to hit molecular gas, dust, and maybe up to pebble-sized objects or something.”

“But if you mean hitting anything planet-sized or bigger, you have a 0% chance (within rounding errors).”

“Put another way, if the entire universe had stars as densely packed as they are in galaxies, you’d still have to travel all the way across the observable universe 6300 times before you’d expect to run into anything planet-sized or bigger by accident.”-Syradil

“To add onto how empty space is. When Andromeda and the Milky way collide, there is almost no chance of there being a collision of planets or stars.”

“It will impact gravity, but on a grand scale, not a scale where any solar system will be affected.”-jaytrade21

Out Of Known Space

“I’ll bungle the details, but that a man made object, Voyager, has left our solar system, has gone billions of Kilometers away and that we are able to receive info from it (via radio waves?)”

“This truly boggles my mind. That we can receive a message from that far away. I think someone pointed out that it’s largely because space is mostly empty.”-Tmaffa

This image is the result of a 10-day exposure by the Hubble telescope pointed at the darkest point of the night sky, the size of Teddy Roosevelt’s eye on a dime held at arm’s length away from your eye.”

“Every blip of light is another galaxy with hundreds of billions of stars and planets.”-FlamingoJump

“That deep space is so ‘far away’ that if we (humanity) ever tried to go there, by the time we got there, we’d have already been there, colonized it, and possibly gone extinct there.”

“Imagine you’re a pioneer. You’re the first person ever who is about to move from the east coast to the west coast. You set out on a journey that’s going to take 10 years by horse and carriage.”

“(Moving very slowly with a family.) 1 year into the trip cars are invented. And so another family sets out and makes it to California in 1 week. By the time you show up, family B has already been living in California for nearly 9 years.”

“Take that scenario, and apply it to space. I’m blanking on the name of the theory but essentially it says that If we tried to travel anywhere of great distance, technology advances too fast for a faster means of transportation to not be invented before we get there.”

“So someone would always arrive before us.”-habeeb51

It’s probably on most of our bucket lists to get to space at some point in our lifetimes.  With the speed at which technology is advancing, that is absolutely plausible.

And once we can get there en masse, who knows what new facts will emerge.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.