10 things you never knew about space

26th January 2021

Want to up your space knowledge? Get more clued up on astronomy? Then look no further, we’ve got all the things you didn't know you needed to know right here…

  • The sun is seriously huge - in fact, a million duplicates of our planet Earth would fit comfortably inside it…

  • Space junk is an actual issue - there are over a million pieces of trash orbiting the earth, scientists are working on a way to clean up the atmosphere as we speak.

  • Stargazing back in time - Have you heard of the Pillars of Creation? These pillar-like clouds of dust and gas are around 7,000 light-years away and were first imaged by the Hubble Telescope in 1995—but they were actually destroyed at least 6000 years ago by a supernova. What we’re actually seeing in Hubble’s 1995 image is what the Pillars of Creation looked like 7000 years ago… how crazy is that!?

  • Pluto got demoted - The tiny planet of Pluto is only half the width of the United States and way smaller than any of the other planets sharing the same status in the solar system. So much so, the scientists in charge actually demoted it to be a ‘dwarf planet’ back in 2006

  • One orbit takes a LONG time - 230 million years to be exact for our solar system to complete one single orbit around the Milky Way. So basically, last time we were where we are now, there was Tyrannosaurus Rex’s wandering down the high street.

  • North Star… for now - Polaris is our North Star, our guiding beacon to show us the way home if we’re ever a little lost (and your google maps isn’t working). Polaris will stay our North Star for another 12,000 years approximately, but it’ll then be replaced by the Vega star. This is thanks to the planet’s axis changing over several thousands of years.

  • Volcano’s exist elsewhere - Mars is home to the biggest volcano EVER discovered in our solar system. It’s called Olympus Mons and at 374 miles across and 16 miles high, it’s triple the height of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth.

  • How many stars? No one actually knows and it’s more or less impossible to count them. Scientists and astronomers use the number of stars within our own galaxy, The Milky Way, to estimate a rough idea. That number is between 200-400 billion stars BUT there are estimated to be billions of galaxies… so yes, our minds are blown.

  • When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon for the first time, he left some pretty memorable footprints, but thanks to their being no atmosphere in space, there’s no wind to erase them, so they’re still there today and they’ll remain there for millions of years. That’s a long lasting memory!

  • And finally, you think you’re having a long day? Try moving to Venus - The planet has a slow axis rotation so that means it takes 243 Earth days to complete ONE full day. However, the orbit of Venus around the Sun is 225 Earth days, so basically that means 1 year on Venus is 18 days less than a day on Venus… yeah, that’s confusing right?

Take your space and astronomy knowledge to the next level and name your OWN star, a little piece of science to go down in history. Make your mark on the night sky right here