Never have I felt so small.
The Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall
“The Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall discovered in November 2013 is labeled as a ‘Galactic Filament.’ (a _massive _group of galaxies brought together by gravity) What makes it so remarkable is that it is so impossibly large scientists can’t explain its existence.
It is over 10 billion light-years away meaning of course that what we see of it is what it looked like 10 billion years ago, now this is where it starts getting weird, it’s estimated that the universe is 13.7 billion years old which means the structure only had 3-4 billion years to form which is literally impossible.
To give you a sense of how really strange the existence of the Galactic Filament is, our very own Solar System is estimated to have taken 4.6 billion years to form. So in essence the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall is too large to exist.
Space Is Amazing
“I have two interesting ones: The gravity of different planets multiplying or canceling itself out, and having to use the mass of planets to accelerate or decelerate in space creates a complex and ever shifting maze of gravitational highways throughout our solar system.
If we ever got commercial interplanetary space travel most of it would follow these predictable routes. It’s possible for a planet to have such high gravity that no combustion reaction can create enough energy to lift a rocket into orbit.
That means it’s theoretically possible for life to develop on a planet where it’s impossible to ever leave with any technology we currently know of.”
“The planets orbit the sun but the sun is also orbiting the center of the galaxy and the galaxy is actually moving relative to other super clusters of galaxies.
This means our solar system is better represented not as concentric rings but as a multiple helices streaking through space. So at any given moment you are in a brand new bit of space that you’ll never be in again.
Also, given the vast emptiness of space, you and maybe a few photons and neutrinos are almost certainly the only things that have ever been or ever will be in that part of space for the rest of time.
Also, space and time are essentially linked so if you were to travel back in time you’d actually be in empty space on a collision course with earth. If you traveled into the future you’d actually end up millions of miles behind earth in empty space.”
The Event Horizon
“Black holes. They are inescapable, not because they exert some kind of super strong force, but because beyond the event horizon they warp spacetime so thoroughly that all directions and futures point inward.
For this reason, we can glean no information regarding the reality beyond the event horizon, as there is no future outside the event horizon that can include that information.
We can’t even say for sure that the material we assume formed the black hole even fell into it.
That’s A Lot Of Water
“There exists a body of water in space so large that it could provide each person on Earth an entire planet’s worth of water 20,000 times.
“Astronomer here! Perhaps too late to this party, but when two black holes collide they can convert several stellar masses into energy. This is an insane amount of energy – more than is being used up in the rest of the visible universe at the moment they collide gets vaporized instantly – but we don’t think this releases any light in any part of the spectrum.
What it does do though is release a massive amount of gravitational waves, which we have now detected for the first time this year… That isn’t the mind blowing part to me though. The part that blows my mind is where before these black holes collide, simulations tell us they orbit each other about 75 times per second.
My mind always breaks a little trying to imagine that!”
Neither Of Them Sound Too Pleasant
“Which is brighter: a supernova at the distance of the earth to the sun, or a hydrogen bomb detonated against your eyeball? The answer: the supernova, by about 10^9 times.”
“You can fit all the planets in the solar system between the Earth and the Moon.”
But What About An iPhone?
“We repeatedly put men on the moon in crafts that had less computing power than a flip phone.”
Well That’s Gross
“In space the skin on your feet peels off! This is a pretty gross fact but in the micro-gravity environment, astronauts are not using their feet to walk.
Therefore the skin on their feet starts to soften and flakes off. As laundry facilities do not exist in space, astronauts will wear the same underwear and socks for a few days.
Those socks then need to be taken off very gently. If not those dead skin cells will float around in the weightless environment.”
“When they were outside the protective magnetic field of Earth, Apollo astronauts reported seeing blue-white streaks and flashes across their vision every few minutes.
The flashes occurred no matter the light level, and even when their eyes were closed! At least one astronaut reported their sleep being disturbed by the flashes.
It was concluded that cosmic rays were hitting their heads. We don’t know if the rays were hitting their eyes and stimulating the retina, entering their eyes and glowing as they passed through the fluid inside the eye, or entering the brain and stimulating the visual centers directly.”
We’re Just A Tiny Spec
“The Sun makes up about 99.86% of the mass in the whole solar system, and the gas giants have 99% of the remaining mass.”
Only An Hour’s Drive Away
“Outer space is only 62 miles away.”
“There’s a pulsar rotating so fast its’ surface is moving at 24% the speed of light. It rotates ~716 times per second.
“Starquakes are a real thing. The crust of neutron stars can sometimes shift, producing an effect like an earthquake. However, it’s many, many orders of magnitude more powerful than anything that can occur here on earth.
The strongest one ever recorded was the equivalent of a 22 on the Richter Scale. Starquakes emit immense gamma ray flares… if this one had occurred within 10 light years of earth, we would all be dead.
Yep… if a magnitude 22 starquake occurs within 58.79 trillionmiles of earth, it could kill us. Sleep tight!
“It takes only 8 minutes for a photon to get from the Sun to the Earth. But it can take as long as 100,000 years for a photon to get from the core of the Sun to the surface.”
“Theres a type of star called a magnetar. It’s typically about 10 miles in diameter and has such a strong magnetic pull that it can suck the iron out of your blood from 50 million miles away.”