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Space

  1. The temperature when the Big Bang happened was about 1 billion billion billion degrees centigrade.
  2. A hundredth of a second later ( the time needed to take a snapshot), it had cooled to 1 billion degrees centigrade.
  3. Most of the material in the universe is invisible. Some of it may exist as dark particles between galaxies.
  4. Our galaxy is about a 100 million times wider than the solar system.
  5. Our galaxy seems enormous but it is only a smudge in space.
  6. Every star would explode if gravity did not hold its material together.
  7. When you look at the sky at night, you are also looking back in time. The light from stars take so long to reach earth that what you see is how the stars looked when their light began its journey to Earth centuries ago.
  8. The African Dogon tribe say their ancestors knew about the invisible Sirius B thousands of years before scientists discovered it in 1862.
  9. North American Indians tested warriors` eyesight by seeing how many stars of the Pleiades they could spot.
  10. If the Sun became a black hole, it would be only a few kilometers across- but it could swallow the Earth.
  11. Quasars are very distant objects that send out far more light than ordinary galaxies. They may also send out strong radio waves.
  12. Quasars seem to be sending out tremendous energy from a small space inside them. This could come from gas whirling around a giant black hole at the centre of the galaxy. 
  13. A quasar turns out heat and light a billion billion times more efficiently than the Sun does.
  14. Cosmic rays can affect tree growth. Some astronomers have tree rings to find out how the number of cosmic rays reaching the Earth has changed over the centuries. 
  15. A million bodies the size of the Earth could be squashed inside the Earth.
  16. The Sun is 92 percent Hydrogen. At the centre is a core of Helium. Around this core 4 million tones of the Suns  material is turned into energy every second.
  17. Sound waves produced inside the Sun make it swell and shrink by a kilometer or so every few minutes.
  18. Several billion years from now, the Sun will have a crisis. The hydrogen supply around its core will start to run out, and our star will begin to collapse.
  19. Eventually the Sun will cool and shrink, becoming a dwarf star about the size of the Earth.
  20. The Moon is slowly moving away from Earth at the rate of 3cms per year.
  21. The far side of the moon was not seen until 1959 when the Soviet spacecraft, Luna 3, flew by and took pictures of it.
  22. Earth`s gravity has pulled on the side of the Moon that faces Earth, causing a bulge several kilometers high.
  23. It would take 81 moons to weigh the same as Earth.
  24. Venus` day is longer than its year. It takes 243 earth days to spin once, and only 225 earth days to go round the Sun.
  25. Clouds on Venus spin round the planet in only four Earth days.
  26. Mars has the largest volcano in the solar system. It is called Olympus Mons and rises to 25km. 
  27. Halley`s comet was seen in 1066, before the Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror believed that it was a sign that he would win the battle.
  28. In Greenland people dig up meteorites and use the iron in them to make tools.
  29. In 1908, forests in Siberia were flattened by a strange explosion, it may have been caused by a small comet hitting the Earth.
  30. Jupiter`s gases change colour so often that the planet looks different each night when seen through a telescope.
  31. Until the Voyager 1 space probe passed it in 1979, astronomers did not know Jupiter had a ring round it.
  32. Winds on Saturn blow at about 1400km/hr. Tornadoes on Earth blow at only 300-600km/hr.
  33. Uranus` small satellite Miranda may have been shattered in a collision with another body. It seems to have broken up into large pieces which collected together again.
    34. The cycle of seasons on Triton, Neptune`s largest satellite, takes 680years.
  34. An astronomer called James Lick, who died in 1876, is buried in the base of the telescope at Lick Observatory in USA.
  35. Yuri Gagarin survived the first manned space flight but was killed in  a plane crash seven years later.
  36. Astronauts become a little taller in space. There is less gravity, so their bones are less squashed together.
  37. As it comes back into Earth`s atmosphere, the Space shuttle reaches a temperature of 1260 degrees centigrade.
  38. Voyager 2 discovered huge 5km high ice cliffs on Miranda, Uranus` satellite.
  39. In 1865 the French writer Jules Verne wrote a story about people traveling to the Moon from a launch site in Florida. A hundred years later, Apollo astronauts did exactly that !
  40. There could be millions of inhabited planets like Earth. Nobody knows what the inhabitants might look like.
  41. All the moons of the Solar System are named after Greek and Roman mythology, except the moons of Uranus, which are named after Shakespearean characters.
  42. Jupiter`s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, and is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto.
  43. On February 7, 1969 a meteorite weighing over 1 ton fell in Chihuahua, Mexico.
  44. Robert Goddard a scientist and holder of 214 patents fired the first rocket using liquid propellant in 1926.
  45. The International Space Station weighs about 500 tons and is the same size as a football field.
  46. Uranus is the only planet that rotates on its side.
  47. What we call the sky is merely the limit of our vision into the atmosphere. The sky, like the horizon, is always as far away as one can see.
  48. In 1959, the Soviet space probe "Luna Two" became the first manmade object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.
  49. Olympus Mons on Mars is the largest volcano in our solar system.

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