There have been some great space movies recently: from Gravity to Interstellar, it seems like everyone’s got space on the brain. And there’s good reason, too: space is awesome. Whether you’ve got dreams of space travel or just like to think about space, you’re sure to be floored by these 18 mind-blowing facts.
1.) The sun burns at about 9,941 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.) There’s more than one moon orbiting Earth; there are six satellite asteroids currently orbiting Earth, including Earth’s “second moon”, Cruithne.
3.) A recently discovered planet was overlooked for 21 years, lost in the glare of a supernova.
4.) 4.5 billion years ago, Earth was hit by something about the size of Mars.
5.) There’s been a storm brewing on Jupiter for 200 years. Known as the Great Red Spot, it’s 40,000 km-wide and could fit three Earths inside of it.
6.) The Earth could fit inside the sun 300,000 times and then some!
7.) For a photon to travel from the core of the sun to the surface takes 170,000 years.
8.) Once it’s at the surface, though, it only takes 8 years to reach Earth.
9.) Every 200 million years the Sun completes its revolution around the galaxy.
10.) Here’s a trippy thought: you can fit all of the planets in the solar system in between Earth and the Moon.
11.) Astronauts left a mirror on the Moon’s surface during the Moon landing. Scientists used this mirror to bounce a laser off it and accurately measure the distance to the Earth.
12.) In the last 20 years, we’ve discovered over 1,000 planets.
13.) Jupiter is HUGE! It’s 2.5 times the size of every other planet in the solar system…combined.
14.) There have been three human deaths in space.
15.) Mars is home to a volcano the size of Ireland; it’s the largest in the whole solar system at 21 km high and 60 km wide.
16.) If you went to the moon tomorrow, you could see the footprints left in 1969 by Apollo 11.
17.) 99.86% of all mass in our solar system consists of the Sun.
18.) The Andromeda Galaxy is visible to the human eye on a clear night; it’s only about 2.2 million light years away.