Thursday, February 6, 2014
Interesting Facts About Our Solar System And Beyond
By Kristy McCaffrey
While I love to write romance novels, my background is actually in science. I know what you’re thinking—one day I must write a love story involving a female scientist. Yes, it’s in the works. In the meantime, here’s some interesting information that may wow you.
*The moon is gradually receding from the Earth at a rate of about two centimeters each year. As a result, the Earth’s rotation is slowing down by 17 milliseconds each century. In fact, the day was closer to 22 hours back when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.
*Somewhere between 1.75 billion and 3.25 billion years from now, Earth will travel out of the solar system’s habitable zone.
*A unique Martian meteorite discovered in the Sahara Desert in 2011 came from the Red Planet’s crust around 2.1 billion years ago, and contains around ten times more water than other Martian meteorites. Known as “Black Beauty”, it may be the first meteorite discovered from Mars’ surface.
*Humanity has now officially reached interstellar space. It’s estimated that the 36-year-old Voyager 1 spacecraft left the solar system on August 25th, 2012. Voyager 1—with a 23-watt transmitter, about the equivalent of a refrigerator light bulb—should keep sending data until roughly 2025.
*More than 1000 earths could fit inside Jupiter.
*Two million years ago, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy was 100 million times more powerful than it is today. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way last erupted two million years ago—and it will again, scientists say.
*Astronomers have discovered a galaxy 13.1 billion light-years from Earth, making it the most distant object ever detected.
*It takes light 100,000 years to travel from one end of the Milky Way galaxy to the other.
On a lighter note, I leave you with a joke, courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres and her Twitter account.
How does NASA organize a birthday party? They planet.