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Fun Facts about Astronomy

Fun Facts about Astronomy


    

Fun Facts about Astronomy

by Owen Jones

Astronomy is an interesting science to most people because it is stuffed with loads of astronomy fun facts. Everything from the size and temperature of our own star, the Sun, to the make-up of distant planets has been recorded. All of this information can be retold to entertain and enlighten people.

The Sun is a fantastic font for astronomy fun facts. Our own star, which supplies us with all our heat and light is between 91 and 94.5 million miles from Earth. It's not that nobody knows the exact distance, but rather because the Earth revolves around the Sun in an ellipse, an uneven, orbit, so the distance varies depending on where the Earth lies in that orbit.

The Sun is only an average size star, yet it's size is another great source of astronomy fun facts. As average as it is, it accounts for about 98% of all the matter in our solar system. Even with the massive planet of Jupiter on our side, we're still only a small 2% of non Sun material.

It would take the diameter of about 100 Earths to stretch across this average Sun. The solar winds produced by the Sun extends to about 50 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Or put another way, those solar winds go out about 50 AU's. An AU being the distance from the Sun to the Earth, which is quite an fantastic fact, isn't it?.

How about astronomy fun facts that don't have much to do with the Sun? How about the Moon? It's the only non-Earth object upon which man has walked so far. And one man actually travelled to the Moon but never left it. Dr. Eugene Shoemaker loved the Moon but was rejected as an astronaut. After his death he was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the moon by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft in 1999.

There are many more astronomy fun facts about the Moon. It's the site of what may become the oldest footprint known to man. Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind left a footprint or shoe print in the Moon's dust that will probably still be visible in 10 million years time.

Lots of people, in fact about 13% of those asked in 1988, still believed the Moon is made of cheese. And finally, the suits worn by the Moon-walking astronauts weighed 180 pounds on Earth but only 30 pounds on the Moon, because of the Moon's reduced gravity. Talk about losing weight, eh?

Astronomy fun facts aren't limited to our close astronomical neighbours. Looking at stars is like looking into the past. Some of the stars we see today in the night sky are so far away that their light takes a million years to get to Earth. Some of the stars you see may literally be images of stars a million years old that aren't even there in the present. There are over 1 x 10 ^22 stars in the universe. That's a 1 followed by 22 zeros. The number is really quite staggering.

There are millions of astronomy fun facts and we could relate them forever. But this article can not. So, please, walk out there and learn about astronomy for yourself.

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