The solar system is a bizarre place with its alien planets, mysterious moons and strange phenomena that are so out-of-this-world no one can explain it.
Scientists have discovered ice-spewing volcanoes on Pluto, while Mars is home to a grand canyon. There may even be a giant, undiscovered planet lurking somewhere beyond Neptune. There are so many things we still don’t know about our universe, and each new discovery gets us one small step closer to understanding.
Take your mind on a fascinating journey through our solar system, to the furthest reaches of the Milky Way with these stellar facts about space.
Crazy facts about all things outer space
- One million Earths could fit inside the sun – and the sun is considered an average-size star.
- Comets are leftovers from the creation of our solar system about 4.5 billion years ago – they consist of sand, ice and carbon dioxide.
- You wouldn’t be able to walk on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune because they have no solid surface!
- The sunset on Mars appears blue.
- If you could fly a plane to Pluto, the trip would take more than 800 years!
- Space junk is any human-made object orbiting Earth that no longer serves a useful purpose. Scientists estimate there are about 500,000 pieces of space junk today, including fragments from rockets and satellites, and everyday items like spanners dropped during construction of the International Space Station!
- Galaxies collide, making bigger galaxies.
- An asteroid about the size of a car enters Earth’s atmosphere roughly once a year – but it burns up before it reaches us. Phew!
- There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. That’s at least a billion trillion!
- Saturn has a moon that’s bigger than mercury.
- Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune all have rings.
- If it twinkles, it’s probably a star – not a planet.
- About 95 percent of matter in the universe is invisible.
- The largest comets come from the outer edge of our solar system – more than 80 billion miles from the sun.
- Astronomers think there is a Monster black hole at the centre of the Milky Way – and that it has eaten other black holes.
- Most planets in the universe probably have water, but not as a liquid.
- Our galaxy is speeding toward the Andromeda galaxy at 186 miles a second.
- Astronauts drink recycled urine.
- Conditions on Venus have crushed or melted many spacecraft that have landed on the planet.
- Astronomers think that the moon was formed when a mars-size object smashed into the earth.
- Venus and Uranus spin in the opposite direction from the other planets in the solar system.
- When satellites crash together, their broken pieces stay in orbit around earth.
- If you’re 12 years old on earth, then you’d be about 6 on Mars and almost 50 on Mercury.
- The first space tourist paid $20 Million for his trip.
- The hottest part of the sun is its core, which is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.
- When scientists launch a rocket, they have to watch out for about 20,000 pieces of large space junk (and 500,000 more tiny pieces).
- The highest mountain known to man is on an asteroid called Vesta. Measuring a whopping 22km in height, it is three times as tall as Mount Everest!
Top 5 books to borrow from your local library:
- From space to core: a journey to the centre of the Earth by Guy Holt
- Why does the Earth need the Moon? by Devin Dennie
- The daredevil's guide to outer space By Anna Brett and Mike Jacobsen
- Incredible LEGO creations from space: with bricks you already have to expand your LEGO Universe by Sarah Dees
- Spacepedia by Brad Herzog
Here are the top 5 eBooks to read:
- Astronomy: Understanding the Universe by Sherman Hollar
- Killer Koalas from outer space by Andy Griffiths
- Solar System Superhero by Megan McDonald
- To the stars: The First American Woman to walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet
- My life as an ice cream sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
Need help setting up your device for eBooks? Watch this video tutorial.
Listen to the top 5 Space eAudiobooks:
- To fly among the stars: the hidden story of the fight for women astronauts by Rebecca Siegel
- Frank Einstein and the Space-Time Zipper by Jon Scieszka
- The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King
- Lost in Space: return to yesterday by Kevin Emerson
- George and the unbreakable code by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking
Need help setting up your device for eAudiobooks? Watch this video tutorial.
- Check out some Science eMagazines:
- Jump onto National Geographic Kids and discover amazing adventures space.
- Stream these great films:
- Check out NASA’s Kids Club: a space about space.
- Get inspired by great astronomical discoveries on Amazing Space.
- Find constellations in the night sky, learn about life in space and wander far beyond our solar system with DK findout!
- Journey beyond Earth with Passport to space – showcasing out-of-this-world facts, photos, videos, books, and games.
- Watch Felix Baumgartner’s incredible record breaking jump from the edge of space thanks to the Red Bull Stratos team.
We are the planets
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