Depending on your choice of theories, our universe is either infinite, expanding or just one of an infinite number of universes. No matter which theory you subscribe to, the universe is an astronomically large, complex, and beautiful thing.
For physicists who dedicate their lives to trying to make sense of the life’s deepest riddles, the study of the universe provides new answers and discoveries every day. Most of us have heard that light from stars comes to us from the past and that Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. So instead, this list is compiled of eight amazing facts about the universe that aren’t commonly known.
Facts about the universe
Our Sun takes 225 million years to orbit the galaxy
When you think about our solar system you think of the planets orbiting the sun, which exists as a fixed point. However, the sun actually orbits the Milky Way. To complete a full circuit of the galaxy takes as much as 225 million years, meaning that dinosaurs were just beginning to evolve last time the sun was in its current position.
Venus’ days are longer than its years
Although our ‘Earth logic’ makes this fact sound like a paradox, it isn’t! Venus spins so slowly on its axis (it is also the only planet to spin clockwise) that a full rotation takes 243 Earth days, which is a full 19 days longer than it takes to orbit the sun.
Apollo 11 crew were placed in quarantine
Neil Armstrong may well have returned from stepping on the moon a national hero, but that didn’t stop him and the rest of the crew from having to spend three weeks in quarantine. It is a legal requirement for all astronauts who set foot on another celestial body, enforced by the Extraterrestrial Exposure Law.
The farthest manmade object is Voyager 1
Currently, the only man-made object to enter interstellar space, Voyager 1 was sent into space by NASA in 1977.The machine carries with it messages of peace for extraterrestrial life it may encounter and music from almost every culture in the world.
A spoonful of a neutron star weighs about a billion tons
Neutron stars are fascinating physical objects. They spin at a great pace and are incredibly dense. Its density has been calculated by scientists, who believe that just one spoonful would weigh 900 times more than the Pyramids.
There are 400 billion stars in our galaxy
Looking up into the night sky (light pollution and clouds permitting) we can all see that space is filled with stars. However, new research has estimated that in our galaxy alone there are approximately 400 billion stars. Just in case you didn’t feel small already!
The North Star will change
The star that has guided humanity’s expeditions for thousands of years will change – although not anytime soon. Due to the natural wobble in the earth’s orbit, the poles positioning to the stars change. Currently, the North Star is Polaris but by the year 13727, it will be Vega. This won’t be the first time that Vega has been the North Star, as recently as 12000 BCE, when the first humans were settling in North and Central America, Vega was the star that directed their travels.
The human brain is the most complex object in the universe
As scientists continue to further understand the complexities of the universe, it is easy to feel smaller and smaller. However, despite everything that we have discovered to date, there is no object in the universe that comes close to matching the extraordinary complexity of the human brain.
With over 100 billion neurons firing and a quadrillion (that’s 15 zeros) connections, we have inside of our skulls the most fascinating thing ever discovered; it’s the discovery that discovered itself. Our brains are the very thing that powers our deep curiosity and boundless fascination with the universe and the meaning of life.
This article was written by The Hearty Soul. The Hearty Soul is a rapidly growing community dedicated to helping you discover your most healthy, balanced, and natural life.